Real (Estate) Talk with Ryan Berlin - July 2022
The rennie review is produced each month by rennie intelligence, which includes the latest real estate data for Vancouver Region's housing market.

A wholesale slowdown in sales is only half the story.

At first glance, the top-line MLS numbers for the month of June in the Vancouver Region appear to be telling a straightforward story; that is, one of declining sales activity, increasing inventory, and moderating market conditions. Notably, these "reversion-to-the-mean" dynamics are occurring concurrently with rapidly rising interest rates and inexorably (to this point, at least) rising and high inflation. Given this economic backdrop, it probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise that demand for housing has softened in our region—and mostly everywhere—of late. And while we typically aggregate sales and listings for all home types across the region—which more often than not paints a pretty clear picture of what’s happening in our local markets at a given point in time— we're currently seeing an asymmetric dynamic at play when we break our market down.

With that in mind, let's start at the top. Overall sales counts declined 13% in June when compared with May, were 38% below the robust total from June 2021, and were 26% lower than the past 10-year average. The declines for detached homes were much more pronounced, with sales down 15% from May, 51% from last year, and 49% versus the long-run average. Meanwhile, sales of multi-family homes (condos and townhomes), while still below the totals from May 2022 and June 2021, were much closer to their historical averages (townhomes were down 15% from the past 10-year average and condos were down 5%).

When we look at the new listings segment of the market (that is, the number of listings added to inventory in the month), a similar dynamic appears. Overall, the number of new listings coming to market had been elevated above the past 10-year average from February through May of this year. In June, however, 8,266 new listings came to market, which was 1% below the long-run June average of 8,360. The decline, however, was due entirely to the detached segment: new listings for detached homes in June were 16% below the last-decade average, while for townhomes and condos they were actually higher (by 8% and 22%, respectively).  

One reason, perhaps, that new listings for multi-family homes continue to come to market at an elevated pace is that this segment of the market continues to favour sellers, albeit to an extent that is less than in previous months. To this point, sales-to-listings ratios for townhomes and condos finished June at 32% and 31%, respectively, while the detached market remained balanced for the second consecutive month, dipping to 14% in June.

As we move through the typically slower summer months, it remains to be seen whether the more affordable multi-family product segments follow the detached market into balanced territory or whether these two markets continue on their divergent paths into fall. Either way, the summer months likely won't be a barometer of what's ahead through the remainder of 2022, as enjoying a holiday or two trumps buying and selling real estate for most of us.

Our rennie intelligence team comprises our in-house demographer, senior economist, and market analysts. Together, they empower individuals, organizations, and institutions with data-driven market insight and analysis. Experts in urban land economics, community planning, shifting demographics, and real estate trends, their strategic research supports a comprehensive advisory service offering and forms the basis of frequent reports and public presentations. Their thoughtful and objective approach truly embodies the core values of rennie.

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