Real (Estate) Talk with Ryan Berlin - October 2019
3 months and counting: Vancouver’s housing market recovery continues  

To put it simply, it’s been an up and down year for real estate in Greater Vancouver in 2019 (actually, more like down and then up). After 2018’s slump spilled over into the first 6 months of 2019, some of the region’s pent-up demand began to re-emerge in July, beginning a stretch of 3 months that may alter the way ultimately look back on the market’s overall performance during 2019.  

With September’s data now available and unpacked, here are the three key market insights that you should know.

1.  Compared to one year ago, sales were up 41% in September
After year-over-year sales counts rose by 19% in July and by 15% in August, they were up a whopping 41% in September. This was still 2% below the long-run September average but it moved sales back to levels that could be considered “normal”, at least insofar as our historical experience is concerned. As a side note, when we consider sales counts adjusted for our growing population, we are still 11% below our long-run average.

2.  Sales were up 4.0% in September compared to August--a time of year when sales counts typically fall 
While the year-over-year sales jump of 41% will get most of the glory among the myriad September statistics, it is the month-over-month change in sales that is actually a better indicator of how the region’s housing market is evolving in real-time. And with sales rising by 4.0% in September compared to August--thereby bucking the typical trend of a 5.4% decline in sales at this time of year--it reinforces the notion that buyers are returning to the fray after many months on the sidelines.

3.  Year-over-year detached inventory was 11% lower in September, with multi-family listings following a similar path
For the third consecutive month, detached inventory was lower than it was in the previous year. On the back of this, overall inventory was down 4% year-over-year in September, the first all-home-type contraction since February 2018. Notably, the trend in detached listings is leading that of the multi-family segment, with townhome and condo inventory expansion slowing to its lowest rate since the beginning of 2018, thereby setting the stage for a contraction of available multi-family homes in the coming months.

With 3 months to go before 2019 is officially a wrap, the real estate story for this year has yet to be fully written. We don’t know how it’s going to end, but whatever transpires between now and the winter holidays--be it a continuation of recent trends or the emergence of new ones--will lay the groundwork for what’s to come in 2020.

The rennie review is produced each month by rennie intelligence, which includes the latest real estate data for Vancouver and the Lower Mainland's housing market. View the latest edition of the rennie review.

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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