Why Are Few Homes For Sale In Vancouver?

Listings Drought

It’s not your fault! If you have one chances are you will get a pay cheque in the next 90 days as Active Listings in the Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Chilliwack Real Estate boards continue to tank.

Messed Up Data Apology

Santa would never leave a present like this under your tree. Not so for the Real Estate Boards of Chilliwack, Fraser Valley and Vancouver. Their early Christmas present was delivered at the end of September as they went live with their new MLS® systems.

They Knew

It’s not that they didn’t know it was coming as it had been in the works for 18 months or more. As with most software programs accessed by thousands of users, it is accepted practice prior to ‘rolling out’ new software to ensure that major “bugs” would be removed from the system.


Just So You Know

MLS’s® are complex systems, things go wrong and they did. Being kind, I will say that at least it turned on and most of it worked except for things like client contact emails and the Internet Data Exchange – the IDX, the place where you see your home search here on Yattermatters. It’s also the program that provides the total Active Listing numbers.

In two instances the IDX program buried the primary MLS® servers. Our previous system had a separate server providing the IDX service. The new provider didn’t think that was necessary until the shit hit the fan – and it did.


The result is that I’ve been reticent to publish the stats for this specific information. It is at best, spotty. However, what is done can’t be undone and we have to live with numbers and a graph that is missing some chunks of daily data. As example, I will never be able to tell you exactly how many Active listings there were between October 7 – 9, 2015. Neither will anyone else as those numbers are somewhere in the ether zone.

Stop It!

Enough! Left you are to work with what there is.


Comparing October 25, 2015 to the same date over three years reveals a dramatic drop in Active listings:
  • 2015 – 15,837
  • 2014 – 22,362
  • 2013 – 23,876

Land Bank

Growing Money

If cash is King then holding land might be the Ace In The Hole – at least for now!

It’s only speculation as to why the listing count is at current levels. But if one is to speculate and as we know Vancouver Real Estate is the king of that domain, then you might make these assumptions.

  • New Canadian friends have been planting their dollars – buying up almost anything that has dirt underneath it.
  • First time boomer children are using parental monies to drive east side prices to the stratosphere.
  • Flippers are in game.


The result nobody is trading – they are not selling! They have planted their money in real estate and with the determination of a field worker they have drained listing inventory to new low levels all while growing their land bank.

The Other Assumption

As you think about land banks consider the other assumption.

At some point in the future stake holders in the land banks will convert their crop to cash so as to buy the next new shiny “investment thing”. It’s human nature and it is inevitable.

In that inevitability lies the turning point where you will see a market flooded with listings and the possibility of declining prices.

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:

Almost there Says:
October 26th, 2015 at 10:13 pm

Interest rates are a few months away from starting a protracted climb. Trudeaus debt based growth will push the rates up and up

Expect real estate to be shunned as a debt trap and for everything to unravel

bbcoq Says:
October 30th, 2015 at 8:50 am

What impact do you think China reversing the “One Child Policy” will have?

Tony Says:
November 3rd, 2015 at 9:54 am

As America adopts the negative interest rate policy as their economy sinks further into the abyss the clueless minions will buy Vancouver real estate until the inevitable implosion in prices.

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