Vancouver home prices are down 9.2%

According to recently released data from the Vancouver real estate board, home prices in the area have experienced a significant decline of 9.2% compared to last year. However, this trend seems to have reversed, with prices increasing by 4.9% in the past month. This indicates that Vancouver home prices are now following a steady upward trajectory once again.

As of February 2023, the benchmark price for homes in greater Vancouver was $1,123,400. This represents a 9.2% drop compared to the previous year, but an increase of 4.9% over the previous month. Over the last three years, the benchmark price has steadily increased by 21%, showcasing the area’s growth and desirability.

In February 2023, the average home price in Greater Vancouver was $1,220,469. While townhouse prices decreased by 6.3% year-over-year to $1.04M and condo prices decreased by 3.0% year-over-year to $732k, overall home prices in the area are on the rise once again.

Recent changes in British Columbia’s legislation have also aimed to make the home-buying process less stressful for consumers. In January 2023, new laws came into effect, allowing homebuyers to back out of a home purchase for up to three days after the sale. These changes are hoped to encourage more first-time buyers to enter the property market and benefit from the recent dip in home prices.

Massive drop in sales

Vancouver’s residential housing market has experienced a significant drop in sales compared to the previous year. Only 1,808 sales were recorded in February 2023, representing a decline of 47.2% from the 3,424 sales recorded in February 2022. However, there was a 76.9% increase from January 2023, when only 1,022 homes were sold. It is important to note that the number of homes sold in a given month does not necessarily correspond to property prices.

The lower-than-average sales activity in February is largely due to the reluctance of prospective sellers to participate in the market. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of homes available for sale in the region, which has prevented market conditions from leaning too far towards a seller’s market, particularly in the more affordable segments. Many sellers, half of whom do not have a mortgage, are taking a wait-and-see approach to the market.

Vancouver prices March 2023

Additionally, the low sales activity is a result of the low number of new listings in recent history, which has been among the lowest in recent memory. As a consequence, sales have struggled to reach typical levels for this time of year. In fact, sales in February were 33% below the 10-year February sales average.

Despite the challenging market conditions, there is optimism that the situation will improve as more sellers enter the market. As the region’s economy continues to grow and stabilize, there is hope that homebuyers will become more active in their search for a new home.

Vancouver home prices March

Photo: A photo of Vancouver/ Alistair Vigier

Homes for sale in Vancouver

The MLS system currently lists a total of 7,868 homes for sale in Vancouver, representing a 16.7% increase from February 2022 (6,742) and a 5.2% increase from January 2023 (7,478). In terms of the sales-to-active listings ratio, all property types combined had a ratio of 23% last month. 

For detached homes, the ratio was 16.8%, while townhomes had a ratio of 30.1% and apartments had a ratio of 25.8%. Typically, downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio falls below 12% for an extended period, while upward pressure occurs when it surpasses 20% over several months.

Despite the decrease in new listings, there are indications that the market is stabilizing, and some leading indicators suggest that modest price increases may occur in the spring if sales activity increases and mortgage rates remain stable. It is important to note that in the current market environment, with higher mortgage rates, lower sales, and an inventory that is gradually increasing, it is critical to work with a real estate agent who understands the local market conditions and has experience navigating challenging markets.

Vancouver housing market

Navigating the current Vancouver housing market can be challenging, particularly for those who are new to the area or unfamiliar with its nuances. However, by working with a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent, buyers and sellers alike can gain a better understanding of the market and make informed decisions. As the market continues to evolve and adapt to changing conditions, having a skilled agent by one’s side can make all the difference in achieving the best possible outcome.

The Vancouver housing market has seen a decrease in new listings, leading to an increase in the number of homes available for sale. However, despite the increase in inventory, the market appears to be stabilizing, with indications that we may see modest price increases in the coming months. This presents a good opportunity for buyers to enter the market before prices rise again.

Sales of detached homes in Vancouver

In February 2023, sales of detached homes in Vancouver totalled 514, a significant decrease of 49.1% from the 1,010 detached sales recorded in February 2022. The benchmark price for detached properties is currently $1,813,100, representing a 12% decrease compared to February 2022 and a 0.7% increase compared to January 2023. Similarly, sales of apartment homes in February 2023 reached 928, a decrease of 49.9% compared to February 2022, with the benchmark price currently at $732,200, a 3% decrease compared to last year and a 1.6% increase compared to January 2023. 

Attached home sales also saw a significant decline in February 2023, with only 366 sales recorded, representing a 34.6% decrease compared to February 2022. The benchmark price for attached units is currently $1,038,500, a 6.3% decrease compared to last year and a 1.8% increase compared to January 2023.

Vancouver prices March 2023

Despite these fluctuations, the sales-to-active listings ratio for Vancouver’s housing market remains relatively stable, with some variations depending on the type of property. While the benchmark price for all residential properties has decreased over the past year, it has increased slightly compared to January 2023. The benchmark prices for detached, attached, and apartment properties have all seen fluctuations, with some modest increases compared to January 2023.

As the market stabilizes, it is a great time for buyers to enter the market and take advantage of the current conditions. However, with indications that prices may start to rise again soon, it is important not to delay in making a purchase. It is also essential to work with an experienced real estate agent and legal professional to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.

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