January 2017 Housing Market Update


 Dan Morrison | President, REBGV


"Metro Vancouver housing market is off to a quieter start in 2017 compared to one year ago. Home sales and listing trends are below historical averages across the region. To understand what’s going on, let’s look at four key indicators.


The first is home sales. Realtors registered 1,523 sales on our MLS in January. This is down 40% from a year ago, and is 10% below the 10-year January average. In context, this is the lowest selling January since 2013.


The second indicator is home listings to supply housing market demand. The number of homes for sale in our region grew to over 7,200 homes last month. That’s up about 14% in December and is roughly 9% higher than this time last year. This will be the key statistic to watch as we head into the busier spring months because supply is key to determining the pace of home sale and price activities in a market.


The third key indicator is home prices. The benchmark price for all residential homes in Metro Vancouver is $896,000. This is down 0.2% over last month, but remains 16% higher than this time last year. As you can see, these price gains accumulated in the first half of the year that began a modest decline over the past six months.


To understand the relationship between supply and demand in our market, we look to our fourth indicator: sales-to-active listing ratio. That ratio today is 21%. Downward pressure on home prices can occur when the ratio dips below the 12% mark for sustained period. All home prices can experience upward pressure when it’s past 20% over several months. The ratio today is the lowest we’ve seen in the region since January 2015.


This brings us to our REALTOR® View segment. This month we're looking at trends and housing types. Over the past few months, it’s been a tale of two markets in Metro Vancouver. One for single-family homes and another for attached housing like condos and townhomes. If you look again at our sales-to-active listing ratio for housing types, we see a number that suggests we’re either in a balance or soft seller’s market.


 You may wonder why the ratios remained above 20% over the past 6 months, yet overall prices have declined about 4%. To answer this, we must understand the different trends in the detached and attached markets. Since reaching a peak in July, detached home prices have declined about 7%. Demand for detached homes represented by the sales-to-active listings ratio reflects this as well, moving into the balance market range in July and continuing a downward trend since.


Condos on the other hand have seen a modest increase in price over the same time, while townhomes remain less than 1% below their value in July. Again, the sales-to-active listings ratio for these housing types are below the peak, are still in seller’s territory. Looking to buy or sell a home, it’s important to speak with a REALTOR® to understand how these trends impact conditions in your neighbourhood of choice.


For further housing market information, go to the news and stat section of this website (REBGV.org). From the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, I’m Dan Morrison."

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