The September statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver are in and they illustrate a quieter market than expected to kick of the fall. Sales are slow, inventory levels are approaching historical norms and prices continue to moderate across the three main housing types. The overall sales to active listings ratio is following the course set by the detached market several months ago and is now approaching what is considered a buyer’s market.
Across Greater Vancouver, the Board reported 1,595 residential sales for the month, 36.1% below the 10 year average for September and a 17.3% decrease from the number of transactions recorded in August. In Coquitlam, there were a total of 131 residential transactions and in our newest area of focus, New Westminster, there were a total of 81 residential transactions. For both these areas this is the lowest recorded number of transactions since January 2017.
Across all product types the Board reported 5,279 new listings for the month, slightly less than the 5,375 listings that came to market in September 2017 and consistent with the 10 year average for the month of September. Total residential inventory across Greater Vancouver is approximately 8% below the 10 year September average and approximately 30% above September of last year.
What does this mean for development land in Greater Vancouver? After several years of chronic inventory shortage, the supply of homes available for purchase is normalizing across Greater Vancouver giving purchasers more flexibility in their purchasing decisions. Unfortunately, the purchasing power of the typical consumer has been greatly eroded by the OFSI mortgage qualification stress test, thus increasing demand for more affordable types of housing.
Transit-oriented, high-density mixed-use development sites continue to be the prize for our developer clients North of the Fraser. However, the demand for more affordable, family-oriented housing – particularly new townhouses under $1,000,000 – continues to outpace available supply. Well located, accurately priced opportunities with development potential for this type of product are available in the market and should be seriously considered despite negative rhetoric in the media.
Please note: areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.
View the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s entire stats package for September 2018 here.