Vancouver home sales hit third consecutive monthly decline

Average June home price rises 3.2% to $917,800 compared with May

The benchmark apartment now costs $501,100, or 25.3% more than a year ago

Vancouver’s hot real estate market showed some signs of abating in June, when homeowners sold a total of 4,400 residential properties.

That’s the third consecutive month of declining sales and is about 15% fewer than the 5,173 sales that transacted in March.

Prices, however, continue to rise.

The benchmark Metro Vancouver home now costs $917,800, which is 32.1% more than June 2015 and is 3.2% higher than in May.

“While we're starting to see more properties coming onto the market in recent months, the imbalance between supply and demand continues to influence market conditions,” said Dan Morrison, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,875 in June 2016. That is up 1.2% compared to the 5,803 units listed in June 2015 but down 6.6% compared to May 2016 when 6,289 properties were listed.

“Since March, we’ve seen more homes listed for sale in our market than in any other four-month period this decade,” Morrison said.

The sales-to-active listings ratio for June 2016 is 56.3%.

Conventional real estate wisdom is that a market is considered to be a buyer's market when the sales-to-active-listings ratio is below 13%. A balanced market exists when the ratio is between 13% and about 21%.

It is then considered a seller's market when the ratio is above 21% for at least a few months, REBGV officials have told Business in Vancouver in the past.

While the current 56.3% sales-to-active listings ratio is deep into being a seller’s market, this is the lowest this measure has been since February.

The falling sales-to-active listings ratio in part reflects a slowing in the decline of total properties available to buy.
The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the multiple listing service in Metro Vancouver is 7,812.  That is 35.9% less than in June 2015 yet only 1.1% less than a month ago.

The steepest declines in sales volume in June were far and away in detached homes, where 1,562 homes sold. That is an 18.6% decrease compared with the 1,920 detached homes that sold in June 2015.

In contrast, the 2,108 apartment sales in June were 18.8% more than the same month a year ago. Attached properties, such as duplexes, also saw increased sales. A total of 730 attached homes sold in June, or 7.2% more than the 681 sales in the same month a year ago.

As for prices, the benchmark detached home now costs $1,561,500, which is up 38.7% compared with a year ago. The benchmark apartment now costs $501,100, or 25.3% more than a year ago. And, the benchmark attached property now costs $656,900, or 28.1% more than a year ago.