Detached Sales & New Listings Plunge, Uncertainty Looms

Not much has changed in the detached market from previous months. Sales continued their trend as most recently reported in my January 2017 Detached Market Report. Detached sales plopped 57% across Greater Vancouver for the month of February. However, new listings also plunged by 50%, setting the stage for an interesting March spring market.

Sales

Area/Year20172016201520142013
Vancouver East8316314512777
Vancouver West93224167176104
Richmond9220416414289
Burnaby481501217860
REBGV754177213011032708

REBGV detached sales fell 57% year over year. For Vancouver West it was the fewest February sales recorded over the past 12 years, and Burnaby matched a previous low of 48 sales in February 2009. So, overall not a good month for detached sales. However, this should come as no surprise as it has been the trend for the previous 6 months or so.

New Listings

Vancouver East- 171
Vancouver West- 167
Richmond- 190
Burnaby- 144
REBGV- 1412

Last month I reported that new listings for REBGV detached homes were right on par with the 10 year average. However, this month there’s been a complete reversal. New listings are way down, as sellers appear to be holding out for some odd reason. REBGV new listings fell 50% year over year, and were 33% below the 10 year average.

Sales to Actives Ratio

Vancouver East- 13%
Vancouver West- 17%
Richmond- 14.5%
Burnaby- 13%
REBGV- 18%

sales/actives ratio
Sales to Actives Ratio Chart for REBGV & FVREB

A big uptick in the sales/actives ratio for February. REBGV went from 11% in January to 18% in February. Again, this is more a result of fewer new listings. Buyers still appear to have the upper hand when purchasing a detached home.

Months of Inventory

Vancouver East- 7.5
Vancouver West- 5.9
Richmond- 6.9
Burnaby- 7.9
REBGV- 5.6

Anything over 6 months is considered a buyers market. Below 4 months indicates a sellers market. Perhaps a sign the detached market could be making a comeback in the spring as there has been a huge change in the months of inventory levels compared to January. You can see January months of inventory Here.

Prices

Median and average sales prices fluctuate month to month and are not always a perfect way to gauge prices. However, with that being said it can still give you a very good idea of trends moving forward. A one time montly movement is not considered a trend. Here’s the updated average sales price for REBGV detached homes.

Summary

The detached market saw not only a big drop in sales but also in new listings. There seems to be some uncertainty amongst not only buyers but sellers as well. With new listings dropping 50% year over year and inventory relatively low, prices remain stagnant. There’s definitely some reason to be concerned if new listings don’t pick up in March as this could push inventory lower and low inventory can equate to upwards pressure on prices. This will be very interesting to watch moving forward. There does not appear to an uptick in buyer demand but a lack of desire to sell.