April brought us some rain, sun, Easter eggs, and less demand from buyers which has resulted in the accumulation of inventory in the Greater Vancouver real estate market.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports residential home sales in the region totalled 1,829 in April 2019, a 29.1% decrease from the 2,579 sales recorded in April 2018, and a 5.9% increase from the 1,727 homes sold in March 2019. Last month’s sales were 43.1% below the 10-year April sales average.
According to REBGV president, Ashley Smith, "government policy continues to hinder home sale activity. The federal government’s mortgage stress test has reduced buyers’ purchasing power by about 20%, which is causing people at the entry-level side of the market to struggle to secure financing." Ashley goes on to comment “Suppressing housing activity through government policy not only reduces home sales, it also harms the job market, economic growth and creates pent-up demand."
There were 5,742 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in April 2019. This represents a 1.3% decrease compared to the 5,820 homes listed in April 2018 and a 16% increase compared to March 2019 when 4,949 homes were listed.
The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver is 14,357, a 46.2% increase compared to April 2018 (9,822) and a 12.4% increase compared to March 2019 (12,774).
“There are more homes for sale in our market today than we’ve seen since October 2014. This trend is more about reduced demand than increased supply,” Smith said. “The number of new listings coming on the market each month is consistent with our long-term averages. It’s the reduced sales activity that’s allowing listings to accumulate.”
The overall sales-to-active-listings ratio for April 2019 is 12.7%. By property type, the ratio is 9.4% for detached homes, 15.4% for townhomes, and 15.3% for apartments. Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 percent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20% over several months.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,008,400. This represents an 8.5% decrease over April 2018, and a 0.3% decrease compared to March 2019. Detached home sales totaled 586 in April 2019, a 27.4% decrease from the 807 detached sales in April 2018. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,425,200. This represents an 11.1% decrease from April 2018, a 0.8% decrease compared to March 2019.
Apartment home sales totaled 885 in April 2019, a 32.3 percent decrease compared to the 1,308 sales in April 2018. The benchmark price of an apartment is $656,900 in the region. This represents a 6.9% decrease from April 2018 and is unchanged from March 2019. Attached home sales totaled 358 in April 2019, a 22.8% decrease compared to the 464 sales in April 2018. The benchmark price of an attached home is $783,300. This represents a 7.5% decrease from April 2018 and is unchanged from March 2019.