Photo: Stephen H / Unsplash

Canada’s housing market is currently dealing with a shortage of available properties for sale, including in the Greater Vancouver Area, one of the country’s most active real estate regions.

In an August mid-month market report published by Dexter Realty this week, Broker and Chief Economist Kevin Skipworth explained that the decline of active listings during the summer market in Greater Vancouver has been intense, and a trend that is expected to continue into the following month.

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“It’s not about the sales but the number of listings and the lack thereof that are keeping the market at bay this summer,” stated Skipworth in the monthly email update report. “By mid-month the number of active listings in Greater Vancouver plummeted to just over 10,000 and will be less than this by the time we roll into September.”

Based on Skipworth’s latest insights, here’s how home sales and new inventory is holding up in Greater Vancouver.

Active home listings continue to drop

So far this month, there were 1,967 new listings in Greater Vancouver, lower than the 2,491 properties onboarded in July. Year-over-year, there have been about 800 fewer new listings compared to August 2020, when 2,758 homes were added.

There are 10,028 total active listings across the Vancouver region, which is quite a difference from July, which recorded 10,958 listings mid-month. In August 2020, there were 13,227 listings available.

The number of active detached homes entering the market dropped by 10 per cent since mid-month July, a trend that has been ongoing for the past few months. Attached properties, which includes condos and townhomes, experienced a more moderate drop of eight per cent over the last 31 days. Skipworth pointed out that the quantity of new listings has steeply declined in recent months.

“[This is] not a great recipe for a sudden influx of workers and immigration coming to Canada in the years ahead – and make no mistake, these workers are very much needed to keep our economy going,” he stated.

August could see 3,000 sales by end of month

Although the number of sales is down mid-month compared to July, Skipworth expects that Greater Vancouver will see a little over 3,000 homes sold in August, well above the 10-year average for the month. Up until the mid-month point of August, 1,393 properties have sold in Greater Vancouver, a decrease from the 1,692 homes sold mid-month in July 2021, but up from the 1,304 transactions in August 2020.

Had new listings not been so low, more sales would have likely taken place this month, Skipworth noted in his report. He explained that while it would be easy to assume that the number of sales are falling, they are actually high when seasonally adjusted with the record-low roster of available home supply.

Photo: Lee Robinson / Unsplash

Townhomes remain popular among buyers

When compared to other housing types, Skipworth noted that townhomes continue to be bought at the quickest pace, with the current sales-to-listings ratio for townhomes set at 87 per cent. Detached and apartment homes recorded similar ratios of 67 per cent and 64 per cent.

A sales-to-listings ratio compares the percentage of units listed in a month to those sold in the same timeline.

In Richmond, townhome sales were especially high with the sales-to-listings ratio reaching 116 per cent. Up to mid-month, there have been 44 new townhomes listed in Richmond and 51 units sold, with an active listing count of 197. As of August 14th, the average price of a Richmond townhome is $965,464, up from $949,898 in July, and an increase of more than $100,000 from August 2020, when the average was $860,052.

Sales-to-listing ratios rises in several communities

Prices for all property types in Greater Vancouver have ticked upward from last month, when the average price was recorded at $1,153,804 in July. Until August 14th, the average value of a home in Greater Vancouver was $1,154,204, a noticeable annual increase from August 2020, when the average price was $1,077,729.

Falling inventory levels in many communities across the Vancouver region has caused sales-to-listings ratios to rise. Compared to July 15th, the sales-to-listing Greater Vancouver jumped from 68 per cent to 71 per cent. Areas like North Vancouver, New Westminster and Port Coquitlam saw their sales-to-listings ratio increase to 82 per cent, 94 per cent and 107 per cent, respectively.

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