Some of you might remember the now old reel to reel tape recorders. They existed before cassettes, 8 track players, compact discs and memory sticks. It’s uncertain if the ubiquitous MP3 was even on the horizon at that time.

In March and April of 2010 the Vancouver real estate market reached a new horizon that few if any of us ever imagined as detached homes in Vancouver reached an average price of over $1,000,000.

Now here we are 4 months later, in a market rife with price reductions, a stunning lack of sales and enough inventory to fill Santa’s sack with all kinds of surprises.

It remains curious whether Santa planned August’s average prices to also be a surprise.

Average Price 1977 – 2010


Everyone rewound and caught our breath as we watched July’s average detached price fumble to a low of $941,275. Finally, it was thought, the market was headed back to sanity which for many, means it would become more affordable.


The Vancouver market has once again shown us that it is an ‘all bets are off’ kind of town.

The average price of a detached home has once again sky-rocketed. In another catch-your-breath moment it has in this month of August shot back up to $999,407 – a mere $593 dollars short of those March/April $1,000,000 records.


The Attached average price has equalled the detached surprise as it rebounds from July’s $529,253 reaching skyward to $551,035.


Apartment average prices have of late matched the PNE’s Might Mouse roller coaster. Teetering on the edge of its track, it has seen a low this January at $420,566 then mere months later it turned the corner slamming your sensibilities as it reached July’s terminal velocity of $443,100. Then, as quickly, apartments hit another dip in the track with August’s $430,598.

Vancouver Real Estate Average Price Numbers:

Detached Attached Apartment
August 10 – $999,407 August 10 – $551,035 August 10 – $430,598
August 09 – $890,087 August 09 – $484,976 August 09 – $392,501
August 08 – $808,015 August 08 – $493,960 August 08 – $401,001

Vancouver Real Estate Inventory – Active Listings

Detached Attached Apartment
August 10 – 6,572
+ 22%
August 10 – 2,356
+ 22%
August 10 – 6,493
+ 39%
August 09 – 5,373 August 09 – 1,917 August 09 – 4,647

Vancouver Real Estate – Units Sold

Detached Attached Apartment
August 10 – 898
– 34%
August 10 – 374
– 38%
August 10 – 936
– 36%
August 09 – 1,378 August 09 – 612 August 09 – 1,465

About Larry Yatkowsky

Larry is a recognized real estate expert. A veteran professional, his experienced counsel leads Vancouverites in his west side community to place their trust in a man passionate about his work. Uncompromising ethics bring a balanced approach to realizing your real estate dreams.

When Life Moves You - contact Larry:

*Disclaimer: Statistics Courtesy REBGV. While believed to be accurate they are not guaranteed.
**Numbers provided may vary as they are dynamically posted by the REBGV.

Reader Comments:

vreaa Says:
September 1st, 2010 at 8:20 am

Thanks for this, and the recent ‘countdown’.

davers Says:
September 1st, 2010 at 8:59 am

Good thing I’m happy with renting.

John E Veltheer Says:
September 1st, 2010 at 9:48 am

bet you’re happy to have been renting the last 12 months ….

September 1st, 2010 at 9:49 am


I got a real question – if that’s the case – “i’m happy with renting”, then why do you burn your time with all this RE stuff? You sound like a pretty keen guy so why not go fishing or whatever instead?

September 1st, 2010 at 9:50 am

i presume you were directing your comment at @davers?

John E Veltheer Says:
September 1st, 2010 at 9:58 am


Samsonite Says:
September 1st, 2010 at 10:20 am

no worries, game over.

Jim Says:
September 1st, 2010 at 10:25 am

Larry, that is a brilliant question. Why do so many renters spend so much time on real estae blogs?
I think its because they:
1. regret not buying in the past when they had a chance, and are looking for affirmation-hoping for negative RE news.
2. are hoping to see signs of a crash to buy in
3. are masochists

bbcoq Says:
September 1st, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Seems like the only solution to prices being too high is high prices!
How much room for correction can you see in the marketplace Larry?
In other words, how much do prices have to come down, if at all, to the point where people like me, who want to “trade up” or buy in decide to pony up?
My uneducated guess is the average Vancouver home to 750K and the average Metro Vancouver home to 500K. That would be 20-25% from the peak.
Just my uneducated, unscientific opinion.
With all your tools and expertise, what do you think?

MH Says:
September 1st, 2010 at 1:48 pm


I think it’s quite obvious that’s the case. When one has been wrong for so long it’s incredibly hard to flip and admit their original thesis was completely incorrect, mainly for fear that the second they flip their thesis will magically start to work their favour. Samsonite amuses me, he’s a bear that we’ve seen for a while and he represents many bears in the manner that facts mean nothing to them, the average price in Van could be 2mm tomorrow afternoon and he will still spew bearish propaganda

would-be buyer Says:
September 1st, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Larry- is it that high-end properties are still selling while the lower priced (and perhaps shoddy) homes are not, thus skewing the averages? I say this because sales are significantly down, yet prices continue to rise. If this is in fact the case, does it also suggest that first time buyers are disappearing (I note apartment prices are down) from the market?

September 1st, 2010 at 6:41 pm

@would be
Re: High end. The countdown series may offer some hint to that question. I haven’t given this close inspection. I have noticed a number of East side homes above 900K going over ask but that would be enough to shake the entire average.
Apts. Not sure that I would be ready to make your claim. They have jumped up and down quite a bit this year. Check the LAPS/APTS series at the beginning of July to see this or wait a couple of days for Aug’s. That series starts tomorrow.

September 1st, 2010 at 6:44 pm

if you are trading up it shouldn’t matter too much as you are selling in the same market. just don’t buy before you have a solid contract – that could be very tricky.
15 years ago many thought the market peaked. I don’t mean to be glib but what does peak mean anymore when new levels are set all the time. BTW if you get serious about selling/buying give me a call

JJ Says:
September 1st, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Larry, Jim Says, etc.

As a renter who is interested in buying at some point I follow the real estate blogs in order to get information on the market. I moved here five years ago from the states and lost a significant amount of $ (at least for me) when I sold my house and was unable to buy something here. I realize that you can lose your shirt on housing and can’t figure out what is going on here, but I appreciate the great info and will get into the market once I have saved enough for a nice down payment. Nothing sinister, just looking for information and hoping for a bit of a discount. Once you lose money you hope that by doing your homework you won’t make the same mistake twice..

would-be buyer Says:
September 2nd, 2010 at 8:57 am

JJ, I agree with your comments. I am also a renter who makes a very good living, but am hesitant to enter a market that I worry is too exuberant for its own good. Clearly fundamentals in Vancouver (wages in particular) do not match the cost of housing. I am also puzzled by “bull” hubris I read on many blogs (and acknowledge that doomsday bears are not much better), when many have benefitted financially from pure timing. While I was in law school, my friend bought a townhouse in Kits at 2.5 x her income in 2002 and that same townhouse is now valued at 5 -6 x her income. This is pure timing as she would not be able to qualify for that same townhouse in this market. One thing bulls must remember is that us renters are your future buyers, so be kind… Some of us are just exercising a bit of caution in this market. I will enter this market eventually, like JJ, when I am satisfied that we are not in a housing bubble. In the meantime, I am okay with staying put in my beautiful Kits rental house and squirrelling away my pennies. I am also not waiting for a “crash” since my partner works in construction and this would put him out of a job…

John E Veltheer Says:
September 2nd, 2010 at 10:21 am

not sure why all of you renters didnt buy while there was blood in the streets last spring – we all know to buy when no one wants to put in a bid

Teddybear Says:
September 3rd, 2010 at 12:54 pm


I will buy a house when I can afford one – without “mortgage helper suite” cause I do not want anyone in my house but my family, and I will aim to pay it off in 15 or 20 years. We sold our condo recently, thank you God, and would never ever ever go back into buildings run by strata whores, therefore – we rent. And if we never buy again, be it – at least we are free to move, and have enough money to save, spend and travel. Renting is just fine: we are moving on Oct 1 into 2bdr/2bthr 1000 sq ft. renovated apartment in the West End with insuite laundry, parking is ncluded, building pet friendly, and our rent is just a tad above $1600.

j Says:
September 3rd, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Exact same boat as Teddy. Never owned, due to being constantly on the move. Will buy when it makes sense. i.e. mortgage helper / laneway / etc is a bonus, not a necessity – and can fit it in a 25 yr amort at a price that approaches the rent for our very comfortable condo.

Simon Whitfield Says:
September 6th, 2010 at 6:55 pm

@ John

Blood on the streets is not defined by 15-20% down when the property prices have appreciated over 100% for the previous years. However, I regret not entering the market then. I was over cautious not to catch a falling knife and was expecting further corrections. I was proven wrong but my view towards a price correction haven’t changed.

To me, the sole reason for the upside we have seen is for the lax lending rates. Once interest rates start rising to curb inflation, the gains would be undone.

Is it possible to get the median stats from somewhere?

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