There’s a lot to keep track of in Vancouver’s housing market right now.
Prices are falling, listings are piling up as would-be homebuyers are backing off, and still the city remains unaffordable for many. Here are five charts that plot the state of Vancouver’s housing market today.
Prices keep falling
What’s going on here: BMO Economics has charted the benchmark price of a Greater Vancouver home for the past decade.
The takeaway: “We would not be holding our breath for a quick price rebound in this market,” writes the bank’s senior economist, Robert Kavcic, who notes home prices have begun dropping month-over-month as well as annually.
And it’s partly because Vancouver condo inventory is surging
What’s going on here: Vancouver realtor Steve Saretsky, who also founded the VancityCondoGuide, plots 14 years of Greater Vancouver condo listings giving a picture of how supply levels have fluctuated dramatically.
The takeaway: With all these listings on the market at a time when sales are slowing, condo prices are expected to take a hit. “Weaker sales [and] rising inventory generally leads to lower prices, and that’s sort of what we’re starting to see in the condo space,” Saretsky told Livabl earlier this week.
But that doesn’t mean Vancouver is becoming any more affordable
What’s going on here: RBC measures affordability by looking at how much of a typical household’s pre-tax income would be needed to finance and pay off a home.
The takeaway: As it turns out, the median-earning Vancouver household would need to set aside 88.4 per cent of its income annually to afford mortgage payments, property taxes, and utilities based on the average price of a home in the area. Or, RBC puts it another way: “This means that rental housing will become the only viable option for a growing proportion of households.”
Housing Market News Alerts
Sign up now for news alerts on the Vancouver housing market
BC’s economy can’t count on Vancouver housing for now
What’s going on here: Credit union Central 1 recently released a forecast for BC’s economy through 2021, predicting “modest” growth.”
The takeaway: The province’s economy will continue to chug along, but it won’t be getting the sort of housing-related boosts from residential construction and investment in Vancouver and elsewhere that it has in recent years, resulting in less robust growth.
Vancouver’s in the red
What’s going on here: The Bloomberg Global City Housing Cost Index averages mortgage payments on 1,000-square-foot homes and rents for three-bedroom apartments in cities around the world, including Vancouver.
The takeaway: Vancouver is in the red, which means housing costs are more than $2,000 per month but not in excess of $3,000. Overall, it ranked 16th, behind markets like New York and Hong Kong.