Metro Vancouver housing market “quietly slowing down”. Report says it’s good news for buyers and sellers as well

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      Last month, agents with the real estate boards of Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley sold a combined total of 7,924 homes.

      This means that at least 264 houses were changing hands every day in April 2021.

      Realtor Kevin Skipworth notes that at such market clip, it is “hard to consider this a slowing pace”.

      However, Skipworth, who is a partner and economist with the Vancouver-based Dexter Realty, sees something changing.

      Skipworth wrote in a report that the “incredible froth that has characterized the market over the past few months is settling down”.

      The Dexter Realty executive noted that Greater Vancouver sales in April were down 14 percent compared to March, which was the “first month-over-month decline in nearly a year”.

      In the Fraser Valley, sales went down month-on-month by nine percent in April.

      When compared to sales in April 2020, after COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and restrictions were imposed, sales last month rose over 300 percent in both regions.

      Skipworth noted that such year-over-year improvement “may convince many sellers the Metro Vancouver housing market is now poised to roar into the record books with month-over-month sales and price increases continuing to set a record pace”.

      “In reality, though, the housing market, relatively speaking, is quietly slowing down and more balanced conditions will become the new normal,” the realtor wrote.

      That is “at least until the pandemic truly ends and the B.C. economy and its traditional immigration levels return”, he continued.

      The change in market conditions has to do with more listings coming on the market, bringing inventory levels up.

      In a report Tuesday (May 4), the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver stated that the total number of homes currently listed for sale in its region was 10,245.

      The REBGV said that this represents a 9.1 percent increase compared to April 2020 (9,389), and a 12 percent improvement over March 2021 (9,145).

      Also on May 4, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board reported that the “influx of new listings improved supply with total active inventory reaching 6,030 in April 2021”.

      The FVREB noted that April 2021 inventory was 20 per cent higher than in March 2021, and the “highest it’s been in six months”.

      Combining the inventory levels in the Lower Mainland, Skipworth wrote in his report: “The total number of homes currently listed for sale across all of Metro Vancouver is 16,275, the highest level since June of last year.”

      Now, what should sellers and buyers take away from all of these?

      “This should be welcomed by both sellers and buyers,” Skipworth stated.

      “Sellers can still expect to sell their property quickly, but in most cases will not be dealing with frantic, no-subject, multiple bids and concern about where they will find another home to buy,” he explained.

      Skipworth added: “Fatigued buyers will regain the opportunity to shop the market more carefully and present more normal subjects and prices when negotiating on a sale.”

      Dexter Realty released the report Wednesday (May 5).

      On that same day, the B.C. Real Estate Association issued its second quarter forecast, which noted that the market is exhibiting signs of a “fading momentum”.

      The BCREA report predicts a slowdown in the second half of 2021.

      However, the BCREA forecast also projects that the pace of sales will propel 2021 into shattering the historic high of 112,209 homes sold in 2016.

      The association’s report stated that “even factoring in a second-half slowdown, provincial unit sales are still projected to reach a record 125,600 units in 2021”.