Vancouver Real Estate Might Be A Drag When Stats Don’t Lie

It’s Not Pretty

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, “lower levels of both supply and demand in recent months are holding home prices in check in the Greater Vancouver housing market.”

Prices are one thing but a 18.3% decrease in sales from last year and a 30.6% decrease from just a month ago would suggest to most of us that the market simply ain’t pretty!

Stats Don’t Lie

House Arrow Down

Let’s be very clear! “Last month’s sales were the second lowest March total in the region since 2001.

At 30.2% below the 10-year sales average for the month” one might conclude that not only is the market not pretty but a lot of sellers might think it is really ugly if they were to consider that:

  • February 2013 had a 29.3% decline YOY in sales
  • second lowest February total since 2001 or put another way
  • sales were 30.9% below the 10 year average

Now in addition

  • March 2013 has an 18.3 per cent sales decline compared to the 2,874 sales recorded in March 2012,
  • it is the second lowest March total in the region since 2001
  • sales were 30.2 per cent below the 10-year sales average

The Wyant Sentiment

According to the new President of the Vancouver Real Estate Board Sandra Wyant – “while home sales were below what’s typical for March, we are seeing more balance between the number of sales and listings on the market in the last two months, which is having a stabilizing impact on home prices.”

I remain uncomfortable with statements suggesting that things have ‘stabilized’. It leaves one to ask if we have hit bottom? With respect, I remain reticent in believing that Ms. Wyant would sign her name to that conclusion.

On The Bright Side of the Road

  • The sales-to-active-listings ratio currently sits at 15.2 per cent in Greater Vancouver, a three per cent increase from last month. This is the first time this ratio has been above 15 per cent since May 2012.”
  • New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,839 in March.
  • This represents a 17.2 per cent decline compared to the 5,843 new listings reported in March 2012 and a 0.1 per cent increase from the 4,833 new listings in February of this year.
  • Last month’s new listing count was 14.4 per cent below the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.

March Numbers

  • The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is currently $593,100.
  • this represents a decline of 3.9 per cent compared to this time last year and an increase of 0.9 per cent compared to January 2013
  • March’s new listing count was 14.4 per cent below the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.


  • Detached sales in March 2013 reached 933 up from February’s 704, but still lower than the 1,183 recorded in March 2012 a decrease of 21.1%.
  • Detached Benchmark price decreased 5% YOY to settle at $906,900.


  • Apartment sales in March 2013 reached 982 up from 760 in February 2013, but still down 17.5% from the 1,191 sales recorded in March 2012.
  • Apartment Benchmark price declined 3.3 % to $362,100,400 down 5.1% from the peak.


  • Attached sales in March 2013 totalled 432 up 333 in February 2013 but down by 13.6% when compared to the 500 sales recorded in March 2012.
  • Benchmark price decreased 2.5 per cent between March 2012 and 2013 to $454,300.


Vancouver’s real estate market is not very pretty when there are so many gravity induced wrinkles. In the short run of a month an increase in sales and a decrease in active listings might suggest that the market is ‘tarting’ up in readiness for a party. The problem with party makeup is that it is a thin cover. With a long hot summer drive to the party still ahead (it took ten years to get here) that veneer may fade leaving some Vancouver home seller’s wrinkles exposed.

Full Report Here

Photo Credit:UFUNK – Photogapher – Leland Bobbé from the ‘Before and After Project.’

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:

Smoking Man Says:
April 3rd, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Enjoyed your comments Larry. Straight-shooting, and refreshing.

Thank you.

theta Says:
April 3rd, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Seriously, I think experienced and well respected Realtors such as yourself should have issue with the ridiculous spin put out by the Vancouver Real Estate Board.

In an indirect way, her comments are basically undermining all your hard work and integrity

April 3rd, 2013 at 10:23 pm

“basically undermining all your hard work and integrity”
– it’s just an itch that needed scratching.

April 5th, 2013 at 6:59 am


Nice to read a “straight shooter” view of the sales and listing numbers.

For Sandra Wyant to come out with ridiculous statements after a few weeks on the job, well it’s just disingenous.

The average prices for Single Family Detached homes had been rising relentless for a decade. Is it really all that unreasonable that prices decline for a few years. After all, real estate is a cyclical!

Perhaps Ms. Wyant is under the mistaken impression that we read only the REBGV press releases. The comments from the Board for the past year or so can’t possibly be helping the Realtors on the street trying to make a living.

Comment On This Post

will not be published