Multiple Offers Roaring Back as Inventory Scrapes Record Lows

Following up to last month’s report (February 2017 condo/townhouse Market report), a growing inferno has ensued. The condo and townhouse market is perhaps as hot as it’s ever been. Multiple offers are rampant, amidst falling inventory. Further Government incentives such as the first time buyer program are only making things more unaffordable for entry level buyers.

Sales

Area/Year20172016201520142013
Vancouver East17920919213799
Vancouver West455683504408374
Richmond276274195119119
Burnaby220323212138135
REBGV1847225516301111986

Although sales fell across the board, besides Richmond, the market remains red hot. Unlike the detached market, this fall in sales is likely a result of all time low inventory levels. Nonetheless, REBGV condo sales fell 18% year over year, but remain 32% above the 10 year average for March.

New Listings/ Inventory

Vancouver East- 206
Vancouver West- 534
Richmond- 277
Burnaby- 276
REBGV- 2123

New listings for REBGV condos fell 14% year over year. While that doesn’t sound too bad the big story here is current inventory levels which are down 35% compared to March 2016. With virtually no inventory available buyers are competing on the majority of listings. Here’s how inventory levels are looking.

Sales/ Actives Ratio

The sales/actives ratio is a key indicator of demand, anything above 20% is indicative of a sellers market.

Vancouver East- 91%
Vancouver West- 70%
Richmond- 98%
Burnaby- 75%
REBGV- 83%

As you can see, these numbers are off the charts. The previous high for REBGV condos was 70% in June, 2016 which was arguably the height of the market. In Richmond, things are even more exuberant.

Richmond condo sales/actives ratio
Richmond Condo Sales/Actives ratio hits record high 98% in March.

Condo Prices

As always, condo prices will vary by area and the average sales price will fluctuate every month. The average sales price for REBGV condos took a small dip in March to $589,656. However, for the most part condos are setting new record high prices in many areas across Greater Vancouver.

Summary

The condo market is out of control. Due to limited inventory and new listings falling bidding wars have ramped up. Bidding wars always tend to push prices up as buyers become desperate to lock something down. This sets new price anchors in buildings. Unless new inventory picks up, and sales/actives ratios begin to fall don’t expect any slowdown in prices.

Townhouses

The townhouse market appears to be picking up steam as well as condos push prices up to new highs. It’s a bit of a mixed bag depending on what price townhouse you’re trying to buy and what area. However, for the most part the numbers don’t lie and it appears things are heading upwards.

Townhouse Sales

Area/Year20172016201520142013
Vancouver East2932452922
Vancouver West5777834251
Richmond1021271157176
Burnaby5374714355
REBGV510658620365390

Townhouse sales fell across the board as well, while overall inventory is up. This is similar to the detached market which is why there was reason to believe the cool down in the detached market would push it’s way down to the townhouse market and then the condo market. However, it appears condos might actually push the townhouses back up. REBGV townhouse sales fell 23% year over year, but were 5% above the 10 year average.

New Listings/Inventory

Vancouver East- 32
Vancouver West- 79
Richmond- 145
Burnaby- 53
REBGV- 603

While new listings followed their seasonal uptick, they fell 21% year over year for REBGV and are well below normal levels. Overall inventory is above last years totals by 11% but remains at emergency levels.

Sales/Actives Ratio

Vancouver East- 59%
Vancouver West- 51%
Richmond- 52%
Burnaby- 96%
REBGV- 63%

The sales/actives ratio continues it’s upwards trend. Although it’s not nearly what it was last March when it soared to 91% for REBGV. With that being said the trend is not pretty, and did set a new high in Burnaby.

Townhouse Prices

The average sales price saw a small tick downwards to $777,196. However, the median sales price set a new high and I expect the benchmark will show the same when it’s released in the next couple days. Overall, there’s no clear consensus on townhouse prices. They declined over the fall and winter and have picked right back up in 2017 and are right around peak prices.

Summary

Following some uncertainty last month about what direction the townhouse market might head, it appears it’s upwards, at least for now. A climbing sales/actives ratio amidst new listings falling will keep upwards pressure on prices. It’s not quite what it was a year ago, but remains hot and definitely favours the seller.

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