From the Office - January 2020

No new supply! That seems to be the cry of government and the opinion of some regarding Metro Vancouver real estate. Let’s talk about what effect this actually has on the market when supply isn’t part of the equation in dealing with the dynamics of our housing market, because affordability definitely isn’t one of the benefits of no new supply. Similar to how the real estate market was acting in the fall, this month multiple offers were happening in the market, except at a much higher occurrence. In fact, there was an apartment in Yaletown that generated 18 offers at the start of February. It’s become the norm not the exception so far in 2020 and to no surprise for those tracking market activity. With apartments and townhouses seeing the bulk of these, it is now creeping into the detached housing market – especially below $1.5M. And why? Supply. There isn’t enough. The number of homes available for sale has dropped significantly and is continuing to do so. And with the pent-up demand jumping into the market, we see these multiple offers. There were 1,602 homes sold of all types in Greater Vancouver in January this year compared with 2,046 homes sold last month, 1,120 sales in January last year and 1,846 homes sold in January 2018. Sales in January were 9 per cent below the 10-year average for the month of January but only 4 per cent below the 10-year average if the 2,574 sales from January 2016 were excluded (a significant anomaly from what we typically see in January.) The number of sales in January were 43 per cent higher compared to January 2019, continuing the trend of strength in the real estate market with January being the seventh straight month or year over year increases for the month. 

Some highlights from January: 
  • The number of sales in Richmond in January were up 88% compared to January of last year with townhouses leading the way up 152% year over year.
  • The number of detached homes currently listed in Vancouver are down significantly – there are 528 Westside houses available – the lowest amount since December 2016; on the East Side there are 39% less houses available compared to January 2019 and the lowest level since March 2016
  • There are 15 townhouses available in Port Moody from a peak of 64 in June 2019; 39 townhouses available in Port Coquitlam from a peak of 102 in April 2019; 85 townhouses available in Coquitlam from a peak of 194 in June 2019 – with similar patterns in other areas for townhouses
  • In Port Moody, there are a total of 122 residential properties available compared to the peak of 266 in June 2019
  • Average prices for condos in the majority of areas in Greater Vancouver dropped in January showing the strength and demand in the lower end of the market as lower priced properties are selling (Average prices are a calculation based on the total dollar volume of sales and the number of homes sold)
  • All residential sales in New Westminster were down 33% compared to January 2019 – the one area that saw a decline in the number of homes sold year over year in January.
  The number of homes for sale in Greater Vancouver continued actually declined at the end of January compared to the end of December, which has only happened twice since 2005 and occurred during years of stronger sales at the turn of the Century. At the end of January there were 9,307 homes for sale in Greater Vancouver, and at the end of December there were 9,309, and a decrease from the 11,427 homes for sale at the end of January 2019 thereby reducing the month’s supply of homes in some markets down to 3 to 4 months – a seller’s market. Multiple offers have been very prevalent throughout Metro Vancouver, and in all segments of the market. With some sales occurring well above list price and above where properties have been priced through the fall. There were 3,993 new listings during January in Greater Vancouver, down 20 per cent from January last year. The number of new listings in January were 19 per cent below the 10-year average for the month of January and 17 per cent below the average for January going back to 1992. Considering how many more homes there are available to be sold in Greater Vancouver compared to 1992 (which saw 5,621 homes listed in January), the trend is certainly for homeowners to hold on to their homes and not sell – likely a function of policy aimed at controlling demand. And as that demand continues to increase with more people moving to Metro Vancouver and pent up demand coming forward, the question is: what are they going to buy?  “We’ve begun 2020 with steady home buyer demand that tracks close to the region’s long -term average,” Ashely Smith, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president said. “Looking at supply, we’re seeing fewer homes listed for sale than is typical for this time of year. As we approach the traditionally more active spring market, we’ll keep a close eye on supply to see if the number of homes being listed is keeping pace with demand.” East of the Fraser River, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 974 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® in January, a decrease of 21.9 per cent compared to sales in December and a 24.2 per cent increase compared to the sales in January of last year. Active listings for the Fraser Valley finished at 5,143, increasing 9.8 per cent month-over-month and a decrease of 14.2 per cent when compared to January 2019. There were 2,216 new listings in January, a 15.1 cent decrease compared to January 2019. “Considering our record-shattering snow and cold, the pace of homes sales remainded surprisingly balanced in January,” said Darin Germyn, President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. “Sales in our regional have steadily improved since July of last year and January’s numbers remained consistent with that trend. Where the weather may have had an impact in January, is on our housing supply. For certain property types, listings in the Fraser Valley are not keeping pace with sales. In areas of Surrey and Langley for example, for every two townhomes listed, one is selling.” 

Here’s a summary of the numbers: Greater Vancouver: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 1,602 – up from  1,120 (43%) in January 2019, down from 1,846 (13%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 9,307 compared to 11,427 (down 19%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 20% compared to January 2019 and up 2% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 6 Month’s Supply (Balanced with signs of Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 40% compared to 22% in January 2019 and 47% in January 2018. 

Vancouver Westside Residential: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 275 – up from  187 (47%) in January 2019, down from 313 (12%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 1,704 compared to 2,084 (down 18%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 26% compared to January 2019 and down 8% compared to January 2018 Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 6. Month’s Supply (Balanced to Buyer’s Market conditions in detached with signs of Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 37% compared to 19% in January 2019 and 39% in January 2018. 

Vancouver East Side Residential: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 161 – up from  105 (53%) in January 2019, up from 137 (18%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 746 compared to 1,071 (down 30%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 22% compared to January 2019 and down 10% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 5 Month’s Supply (Balanced with signs of Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 45% compared to 23% in January 2019 and 34% in January 2018 

North Vancouver Residential: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 100 – up from  91 (10%) in January 2019, down from 132 (24%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 559 compared to 740 (down 24%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 14% compared to January 2019 and up 26% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 6 Month’s Supply (Balanced with signs of Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 27% compared to 21% in January 2019 and 45% in January 2018. 

West Vancouver: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 29 – up from  26 (12%) in January 2019, down from 43 (33%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 518 compared to 599 (down 14%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 22% compared to January 2019 and down 6% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 18 Month’s Supply (Buyer’s Market conditions) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 16% compared to 11% in January 2019 and 23% in January 2018. 

Richmond Residential: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 227 – up from  121 (88%) in January 2019, down from 275 (17%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 1,410 compared to 1,696 (down 17%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 31% compared to January 2019 and down 3% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 6 Month’s Supply (Balanced to Buyer’s Market conditions in detached with signs of Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 43% compared to 16% in January 2019 and 50% in January 2018. 

Burnaby East: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 18 – up from  11 (64%) in January 2019, down from 29 (38%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 111 compared to 119 (down 7%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 18% compared to January 2019 and down 30% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 6 Month’s Supply (Balanced to Buyer’s Market conditions in detached with signs of Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 40% compared to 20% in January 2019 and 45% in January 2018. 

Burnaby North: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 96 – up from  65 (48%) in January 2019, up from 73 (32%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 321 compared to 483 (down 44%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 3% compared to January 2019 and up 30% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 3 Month’s Supply (Balanced with signs of Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 46% compared to 30% in January 2019 and 45% in January 2018. 

Burnaby South: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 90 – up from  55 (64%) in January 2019, down from 102 (12%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 459 compared to 657 (down 30%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 26% compared to January 2019 and up 2% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 5 Month’s Supply (Balanced with signs of Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 43% compared to 20% in January 2019 and 50% in January 2018. 

New Westminster: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 50 – down from 75 (33%) in January 2019, down from 96 (48%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 285 compared to 386 (down 26%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 27% compared to January 2019 and down 8% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 6 Month’s Supply (Balanced with Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 35% compared to 38% in January 2019 and 62% in January 2018. 

Coquitlam: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 144 – up from  87 (66%) in January 2019, down from 156 (8%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 568 compared to 788 (down 28%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 17% compared to January 2019 and up 15% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 4 Month’s Supply (Balanced with signs of Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 47% compared to 23% in January 2019 and 58% in January 2018. 

Port Moody: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 37 – up from  31 (19%) in January 2019, down from 46 (20%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 122 compared to 165 (down 26%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 22% compared to January 2019 and down 4% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 3 Month’s Supply (Balanced with signs of Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 57% compared to 37% in January 2019 and 68% in January 2018. 

Port Coquitlam: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 60 – up from  38 (58%) in January 2019, up from 58 (3%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 200 compared to 290 (down 31%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 10% compared to January 2019 and up 22% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 3 Month’s Supply (Balanced with signs of Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 47% compared to 27% in January 2019 and 55% in January 2018. 

Ladner: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 35 – up from  16 (119%) in January 2019, up from 19 (84%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 145 compared to 143 (up 1%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were up 13% compared to January 2019 and up 35% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 4 Month’s Supply (Balanced with signs of Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 48% compared to 26% in January 2019 and 35% in January 2018. 

Tsawwassen: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 21 – up from  14 (50%) in January 2019, up from 16 (31%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 208 compared to 182 (up 14%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 4% compared to January 2019 and up 13% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 10 Month’s Supply (Balanced to buyer’s market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 30% compared to 19% in January 2019 and 26% in January 2018. 

Pitt Meadows: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 19 – up from  10 (90%) in January 2019, up from 18 (6%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 73 compared to 96 (down 23%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were up 30% compared to January 2019 and up 65% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 4 Month’s Supply (Balanced with signs of Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 37% compared to 25% in January 2019 and 58% in January 2018. 

Maple Ridge: Total Units Sold in January 2020 was 120 – up from  82 (46%) in January 2019, down from 182 (34%) in January 2018; Active Listings are at 556 compared to 602 (down 7%) at this time last year; New Listings in January 2020 were down 11% compared to January 2019 and up 2% compared to January 2018. Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 5 Month’s Supply (Balanced with signs of Seller’s Market conditions in some areas and product types) and a Sales to Listings Ratio of 54% compared to 32% in January 2019 and 84% in January 2018.