Total Dollar Volume on Vancouver Real Estate Plunges Year Over Year

The divergence between the condo and detached markets has never been more evident. With foreign capital drying up and stricter mortgage regulations in place, the ability of locals to pick up the tab on million dollar homes is dwindling. Despite the popular narrative that the detached market is heating up, recent data below shows it’s struggling to recoup last year’s success. Meanwhile, the condo market appears relatively untouched.

I’ve highlighted the sales/actives ratio which tracks how many sales happen divided by new listings for each month. This is a key metric to follow as it’s a true measure of demand. Below I’ve overlaid the sales/actives ratio with the total dollar volume (how much is spent on Vancouver real estate).

Detached Market

Buyers of Vancouver detached homes spent 49% less this April than they did in April, 2016. That’s nearly $611 million dollars less. That’s a big chunk of change considering about 20% of BC’s economy is dependant on real estate. Further, as you can see, there’s a pretty close correlation to the total dollar volume and the sales/actives ratio (demand). As demand falls, so too does the dollar volume.

Condo Market

The Vancouver condo market only saw it’s total dollar volume fall by 3% year over year, or rather just over $17 million dollars. Meanwhile, the sales/actives ratio is barely off it’s highs of last year, also down 3%.

Summary

While most people continue to argue how much prices are up or down, one thing that’s undeniable is the total dollar volume. So, although prices may not appear to be dropping, the total dollar volume is declining and in the detached market the plunge is substantial. Keep a close eye on these two metrics as they should foreshadow future movements on prices.