Active housing listings in Metro Vancouver’s real estate market have fallen to their lowest level in five years since 2016, according to a new third quarter report from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).
Housing stocks were at near historic levels during the second half of 2019, before reaching record levels at all times in March 2021 and plateauing during the third quarter of this year.
“The growing correlation between sales and new pandemic inventories is consistent with more buyers selling their current homes and buying other, typically larger, homes,” the report reads.
“REBGV’s monthly demographic survey of home buyers among its members who recently sold a property also indicates that first-time buyers and moving buyers will be a larger share of total home sales in today’s market.”
Since the peak last spring, sales and new inventories have moved from record highs to lower levels, last seen in 2016, when the market experienced its last very active period before a slowdown due to new public interventions on demand.
Currently, new inventories and sales are expected to remain closer to long-term averages, while active inventories will slowly build up in the fall of 2021 and into the spring of 2022. But these gains will be on the “lower side of typical” as the region faces a “Under supply of housing and sustained demand pressures.”
That said, REBGV says new housing developments have remained stable during the pandemic, particularly in secure rental housing on the market, where developers are completing projects that began during the region’s boom before the pandemic.
Purpose-built rental apartments continue to see higher completion levels thanks to incentives for rent from all levels of government. While these incentives change the composition of the type of new units that are being built, owner-occupied homes are still the largest share of homes being built today, ”reads the update.
“New condominiums are starting and consequent completions have not increased in line with the strong price growth seen in 2016 and 2017. In smaller supply-limited markets, the price increase that we have experienced in Metro Vancouver over the last five years would lead to a matching increase in completions. This reaction to the supply is largely lacking in our housing market today. ”
Compared to other major urban centers in Canada, there are vacancies in the lower mainland, and a large increase in the supply of new housing is needed to close the gap.
The reference price for all housing types reached a record $ 1,176 million in August 2021 with single-family homes of $ 1,807 million, townhouses of $ 952,600 and apartments of $ 735,100.
“With fewer sales since the highs seen in March, house price rises flattened largely across Metro Vancouver in the summer. However, expect to see upward pressure on prices in the autumn, as above-average sales volumes meet low inventory levels, ”the report continues.
REBGV’s jurisdiction also covers Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Pitt Meadows, Sunshine Coast and all Tri-Cities and North Shore municipalities. Other areas such as Surrey, Langley and White Rock are part of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.