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Metro Vancouver's early September housing data signals market shift

Greater Vancouver listings are increasing as sales are slowing, according to mid-month numbers from the real estate board
As of September 15 there were nearly 3,000 new listings and just 896 home sales registered across Greater Vancouver. | Chung Chow, BIV

Mid-month September data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) shows an anticipated surge in listings of homes for sale is being seen this month. This, combined with a drop in sales compared to previous months, points to a potential shift in the market to a buyer’s advantage, agents say.

“For the first time in a while, opportunity is knocking for buyers,” said Kevin Skipworth, managing partner of Dexter Realty, Vancouver.

At mid-month there have been 2,982 new listings, which is higher than the 2,331 new listings at mid-August and the 2,741 new listings at the mid-point of July. It’s also higher than September last year and above even the mid-point of busy September 2021, when 2,891 new listings had come out with much higher sales, at 1,477 transactions, REBGV’s data shows.

Meanwhile, housing sales as of September 15 of this year reached 896 sales, down from 1,198 sales at the mid-point of August and from 1,295 sales at the mid-point of July 2023, but up marginally from the 843 transactions in September 2022.

Also, the sales-to-listings ratio was just 29 per cent in mid-September compared to 51 per cent at the mid-point a month earlier, and an average of 55 per cent since January, the data shows.

Skipworth said the result of more listings and slowing sales could result in 11,000 active listings this month, the highest level since June 2021.

The City of Vancouver said it has 500 applications pending for new multiplex rezoning of single-family detached lots, which could signal an increase in both sales and listings of detached houses in the city.

The composite benchmark home price in Greater Vancouver as of the end of August 2023 was $1,208,400, up $97,000 compared to January 2023.  The increase in listings and a slowdown in sales could keep price increases in check this month, agents suggest.