According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Metro Vancouver housing market is experiencing renewed price growth this spring, with home prices across the region showing modest increases in March. However, new listings remain below long-term historical averages, indicating that sellers are still awaiting more favorable market conditions.
In March 2023, there were 2,535 residential home sales in the Metro Vancouver area, representing a 42.5% decrease from the 4,405 sales recorded in March 2022. This is also 28.4% below the 10-year seasonal average of 3,540. Despite these lower numbers, the data shows that home sales are making a stronger than expected spring showing so far, despite elevated borrowing costs.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,143,900. This represents a 9.5% decrease over March 2022 and a 1.8% increase compared to February 2023. Andrew Lis, REBGV’s director of economics and data analytics, stated that “the spring market is already on track to outpace our 2023 forecast, which anticipated modest price increases of about one to two per cent across all product types.”
However, the low number of new listings remains a concern. In March 2023, there were 4,317 detached, attached, and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver. This represents a 35.5% decrease compared to the 6,690 homes listed in March 2022 and was 22.3% below the 10-year seasonal average of 5,553. The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 8,617, an 8.1% increase compared to March 2022 and 17.3% below the 10-year seasonal average of 10,421.
These low numbers are reflected in the sales-to-active listings ratio for March 2023, which stands at 30.7% for all property types. By property type, the ratio is 23.3% for detached homes, 36.7% for townhomes, and 34.9% for apartments. Analysis of historical data suggests that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12% for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20% over several months.
The REBGV reports that detached home sales in March 2023 reached 734, a 43.6% decrease from the 1,302 detached sales recorded in March 2022. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,861,800, representing an 11.2% decrease from March 2022 and a 2.7% increase compared to February 2023. Sales of apartment homes reached 1,311 in March 2023, a 43.2% decrease compared to the 2,310 sales in March 2022. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $737,400, representing a 4.6% decrease from March 2022 and a 0.7% increase compared to February 2023. Attached home sales in March 2023 totalled 466, a 37.3% decrease compared to the 743 sales in March 2022. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $1,056,400, representing a 7.8% decrease from March 2022 and a 1.7% increase compared to February 2023.