Market Highlights For May 2024

  • The first Bank of Canada rate cut since 2020 – now what?
  • Active listings in Greater Vancouver are up 46% from last year
  • Buyers are being patient; sales dipped in MayWatch the Micro Markets closely
  • Prices are relatively flat and some are down in the last 6 months

The Canadian Economy has been speaking, and the Bank of Canada finally listened. This morning, they dropped their overnight right by a quarter point which will see rates for variable rate mortgages and lines of credit come down. While not substantial, it signals the start of downward movement with interest rates. A welcome relief to many and perhaps a signal that it’s time to buy. With the next announcement in July, many will be singing like Tim McGraw “I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.”

For the second month in a row, the story was listings. More and more listings came on the market in May, albeit off the pace of April. The result is active listing inventory is at levels not seen since later 2020 after the world opened post Covid shutdown. Buyers are more patient though, with sales overall in Greater Vancouver down from April and May of last year – although the Fraser Valley saw sales creep up from April. This only adds to the level of pent-up demand that will start to act with more favourable interest rate and economic conditions. It’s not a matter of will buyers engage, but a question of when.

While there was a break this month in new housing regulations, the market is still factoring in the numerous changes to various housing legislation introduced at the provincial and federal levels. Likely we are seeing properties listed due to capital gains changes, short term rental restrictions and investor frustration with the regulations of their rental properties they own. Owning a property in British Columbia has become a lot more difficult and more costly and as a result some sellers would rather sell than hold. This has the knock-on effect of removing some rental stock at the same time – not ideal for those struggling to find a rental.

There were 2,733 properties sold in Greater Vancouver in May after seeing 2,831 properties sold in April and 2,415 properties sold in March this year. This was a 20% decrease from the 3,411 properties sold last year in May. This marked the first month-over-month decline in sales this year. With increased listing counts, it should have brought on more sales, but buyers are continuing to show more patience and take advantage of the opportunity of choice.

Sales in May were 20% below the 10-year average after being 12% below the 10-year-average in April and 30% below the 10-year average in March. One step forward, one step backward seems to be the theme in the real estate market. But with the number of homes for sale increasing, this will lead to a better chance for increasing home sale when buyers engage. And that may just be this month. What seems to be happening though is that real estate activity is occurring in many different micro markets. Detached houses on Vancouver’s West Side can sell with 5 offers in the $3M range while apartment listings below $1 Million can sit.

Detached properties overall saw the lowest growth in new listings in May, while townhouses surprisingly showed the most growth in new listings. And apartment sales were down the most year-over-year, likely an indication of how much higher interest rates are impacting that end of the market. First time buyers while getting the benefit of more choice still must contend with higher rates and especially the stress test which adds another 2% onto the rate for qualification purposes. Expect to see that segment of the market move quickly with rate reductions. Looking at detached home sales, they were up 4% month-over-month while down 18% year-over-year (although Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge saw more sales year-over-year), townhouse sales were down 20% month-over-month and down 13% year-over-year and condo sales were down 6% month-over-month and down 22% year-over-year.

As listings increased in the last two months, the months of supply didn’t increase much if at all in some areas. Greater Vancouver ticked up to 5 months supply (on the border of balanced to seller’s market), while some areas like North Vancouver (even with the number of active townhouse listings double the amount there were in May 2023), Port Coquitlam and Pitt Meadows are at 3 months supply, while New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Ladner are at 4 months supply. All while listings totals ramped up.

While we didn’t hit 7,000 for the number of new listings in May, after reaching 7,229 in April in Greater Vancouver, there were still 6,484 new listings that came on. Just shy of the May 2022 at 6491 and off the May 2021 high for that month at 7,276. For a variety of reasons sellers were coming to the market over the last 2 months, after being patient over the last 2 years. As we’ve said, significant pent-up supply had been building as many moves were on hold due to higher interest rates, lack of buyer demand and an inability to find the next home. With more choice available for sellers, we are seeing the sell and buy transactions coming back into the market. That has been missing over the last few years. And with more supply, prices are holding and, in some areas, and property types seeing downward pressure.

The number of new listings in May were 7% above the 10-year average after April was 29% above the 10-year average and March was 9% below the 10-year average. May will typically see a significant number of sellers come to the market in advance of summer, so it isn’t surprising to see those numbers. We’ll see the number of new listings decrease as June winds down and the summer months come upon us.

There were 13,600 active listings in Greater Vancouver at month end, compared to the 12,491 actives at the end of April and 10,552 at the end of March. With sales to listings ratios around 40% over the last two months, it’s allowed active listing counts to grow quickly in the region. Compared to this time last year, listings are up 46% from the 9,293 at the end of May 2023. Detached active listings are up 37% year-over-year, while townhouses are up 53% and condos are up 56%. The detached market overall in Greater Vancouver remains at 6 months supply – a balanced market. Vancouver’s East Side is bucking this trend though, sitting with 4 month’s supply for all residential properties and producing some interesting multiple offer sales. Townhomes moved up to 4 months supply from 3 and condos stayed at 4 months supply – keeping both technically in seller’s market conditions in Greater Vancouver. Area by area market activity and the level of competition for listings will vary. Considering how much has come on the market; we still aren’t close to a true buyer’s market and it wont’ take much to see the shift back to a seller’s market.

The last two months have seen a shift in the real estate market to more active sellers and increased buyer hesitation. With so much talk about interest rates, it’s easy to see why buyers are playing the waiting game. With visions of lower rates, why buy now and let’s shop for the best deal has become theme in the buyer world. But tides can shift quickly, when interest rates creep down. Buyers may soon find that the competition they were trying to avoid may come back quicker than expected. Those not distracted or hampered by elevated interest rates could see the best buying opportunity in some time.

Here’s a summary of the numbers:

Greater Vancouver: Total Units Sold in May were 2,733 – down from 2,831 (3%) in April, up from 2,415 (13%) in March, down from 3,411 (20%) in May 2023, down from 2,947 (7%) in May 2022, down from 4,346 (37%) in May 2021, up from 1,506 (81%) in May 2020, and up from 2,669 (2%) in May 2019; Active Listings were at 13,600 at month end compared to 9,293 at that time last year (up 46%) and 12,491 at the end of April (up 9%); New Listings in May were down 10% compared to April 2024, up 12% compared to May 2023, down 0.1% compared to May 2022, down 11% compared to May 2021, up 72% compared to May 2020, and up 8% compared to May 2019. Month’s supply of total residential listings is up to 5 month’s supply from 4 (balanced market conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 42% compared to 39% in April 2024, 59% in May 2023, and 45% in May 2022.

Month-over-month, the house price index is up 0.5% and in the last 6 months up 2.5%.

For other regions, contact Berna Yazgan

Hulya TosunHulya Tosun
18:54 07 Jun 24
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Vldn B.Vldn B.
07:18 04 May 24
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22:02 03 May 24
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17:35 27 Apr 24
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18:46 12 Apr 24
We met Ms. Berna upon her recommendation and reached her through social media, then we immediately made an appointment and started the house hunting process. She was patient from the beginning to the end of our process and helped us find the home that best suited our needs. Not only about the house, but also for our new move from Turkey to Vancouver, she did her best to help us handle many of our jobs remotely, and apart from finding a house, I really loved her energy and friendliness. I'm glad we got to know you, Ms. Berna, thank you very much.
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07:41 07 Apr 24
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20:27 26 Jun 23
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