Photo: Sean Driscoll / Unsplash

Home buying and selling activity remains at a high in Metro Vancouver, while the pace of new properties hitting the market has continued to fall in line with long-term averages.

For the month of September, the quantity of sales decreased on a yearly and monthly basis according to a monthly market report published by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) this week. Meanwhile, the number of new listings was also down compared to 2020 levels, but did show an improvement from August.

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Keith Stewart, REBGV’s economist, explained that the summer’s trend of above-average home sales, alongside historically-typical new listings activity, continued throughout Metro Vancouver during September.

“Although this is keeping the overall supply of homes for sale low, we’re not seeing the same upward intensity on home prices today as we did in the spring,” said Stewart in the report.

Here’s what we know based on the latest insights from REBGV.

Sales drop annually and monthly in September 2021

Last month, 3,149 residential homes were sold in Metro Vancouver. This marks a 13.6 per cent decrease from September 2020, when 3,643 properties traded hands.

From August to September, the decline in sales was much more minor. Month-to-month, the quantity of sales was down 0.1 per cent from 3,152 transactions. Despite these losses, last month’s sales were still 20.8 per cent above the 10-year September sales average.

Detached, apartment and attached property types reported a total of 950, 1,621 and 578 sales. For detached and attached homes, this represents a 27.9 per cent and 20.8 per cent decrease in sales compared to September 2020 levels. However, sales for apartments were up 1.6 per cent annually from 1,596 transactions.

Photo: Stephen H / Unsplash

September sees a boost in monthly home inventory

Between detached, attached and apartment properties, 5,171 newly-listed homes came online across the Vancouver region in September.

Although the yearly number of new properties hitting the market was down 19.2 per cent compared to the 6,402 homes listed in September 2020, the supply of properties grew 28.2 per cent from August 2021, up from 4,032 residences. Last month’s new listings were 1.2 per cent below the 10-year average for September.

Home inventory still remains “insufficient”

At the moment, there are 9,236 homes available for sale in Metro Vancouver.

From August to September, the total quantity of properties on the market jumped just 2.6 per cent, up from 9,005 homes. In September 2020, there were 13,096 properties on the market, which equals a 29.5 per cent year-to-year decrease in current supply. Compared to the 10-year average, September’s inventory of listings was down 27.7 per cent.

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for September 2021 is 34.1 per cent.

Stewart noted that the total inventory of homes for sale “remains insufficient,” to meet the demands of the current Metro Vancouver market.

“This scarcity limits peoples’ purchasing options and ultimately adds upward pressure on home prices,” said Stewart. “With the federal election now behind us, we hope to see governments at all levels work with the construction industry to streamline the creation of a more abundant and diverse supply of housing options.”

Photo: Mike Benna / Unsplash

Average home prices stay above $1.1 million

In September, the MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark reached $1,186,100 for all residential properties. Compared to the same month last year, the average price is now up 13.8 per cent, and rose just 0.8 per cent from August.

For all three property types, benchmark prices have increased across the board. Detached, apartment and attached homes saw their average values rise 20.4 per cent, 8.4 per cent and 17.5 per cent yearly to $1,828,200, $738,600 and $963,800.

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