Photo: Lee Robinson / Unsplash

The demand for homes in Metro Vancouver continues to overwhelm the number of new listings coming online, a scenario that is leaving the market undersupplied according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

In its monthly market report for August, REBGV said that the number of home sales fell from the previous month, but new listings also declined on both a monthly and yearly basis. While home buying has remained steady throughout the summer months, the supply of properties has been “steadily” dropping since June.

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“August was busier than expected, and listings activity isn’t keeping up with the pace of demand. This is leaving the market under supplied,” said economist Keith Stewart in the August market report.

Here’s what we know about how Metro Vancouver’s housing market fared last month.

Home sales are down slightly from July

August logged a total of 3,152 home sales, down by 3.4 per cent from the 3,047 sales that transacted during the same month last year. This also marks a 5.2 per cent drop in sales from July 2021, when 3,326 homes were bought and sold.

August’s sales were well above the 10-year average for the region, climbing 20.4 per cent.

Apartments saw the greatest number of sales during August, recording 1,631 transactions. This beats the number of apartments sold during August 2020 by 22.4 per cent, when 1,332 apartments changed hands.

Last month, 945 detached and 576 attached home sales were recorded, down 13.7 per cent and 7.1 per cent from the previous year.

Photo: Matt Wang / Unsplash

Supply levels drop on an annual and monthly basis

Between detached, attached and apartment property types, a total of 4,032 homes were added to the Metro Vancouver MLS system during August. Month-to-month, this represents a 7.9 per cent decrease from July, when ​​4,377 properties hit the market. Compared to August 2020, this is a significant 30.6 per cent drop from the 5,813 homes that were put on the market then.

The total quantity of homes available for sale on the MLS in Metro Vancouver was 9,005, a notable 29.7 per cent difference from August 2020, which logged 12,803 available homes. Between July and August 2021, there are 845 fewer homes available for sale, having dropped from 9,850 homes (8.6 per cent) month-to-month.

For all property types in the region, the sales-to-active listings ratio for August 2021 is set at 35 per cent.

Detached and attached homes report yearly double-digit price increases

From 2020 to 2021, all property types in the region noted a bump up in prices for the month of August.

The MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark currently sits at $1,176,600 in Metro Vancouver, up 13.2 per cent from August 2020 and a minor 0.1 per cent increase from July 2021.

On an annual basis, detached homes reported the highest benchmark price increase last month, jumping 20.4 per cent to $1,807,100. Month-to-month, detached prices grew by a subtle 0.3 per cent.

The benchmark price of an apartment property hit $735,100 in August, up 7.6 per cent from the same month in 2020, but down 0.2 per cent from July 2021. Attached homes reported slightly higher price increases, with the benchmark reaching $952,600, up 16.5 per cent yearly and 0.3 per cent monthly.

“When assessing the market, it’s important to understand that while year-over-year price increases have reached double digits, most of the increases happened three or more months ago,” said Stewart.

Photo: Aditya Chinchure / Unsplash

Supply biggest factor impacting the Metro Vancouver market

The lack of properties available for sale currently has the most influence on Vancouver’s housing situation.

Stewart explained that housing supply is the biggest factor impacting the market at the moment. In order to relieve price pressure and “improve peoples’ home buying options,” the economist suggests that the market needs a more abundant supply of homes.

“Housing affordability has been a key issue in the federal election,” said Stewart. “We encourage the political parties to focus on policy solutions that will help streamline the creation of more diverse housing options for hopeful home buyers today and into the future.”

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