As we welcome in a new year, we also look forward to welcoming buyers and sellers to the new 2023 market.
There were certainly different playing cards held last year compared to the previous two, as the Metro Vancouver* property market found ways to adjust after the record-setting pandemic period. However, it became a balancing act for prospective buyers and sellers between the levelling out of property costs and the rise of borrowing costs.
Andrew Lis, Director of Economics and Data Analytics at the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), commented, “The headline story in our market in 2022 was all about inflation and the Bank of Canada’s efforts to bring inflation back to target by rapidly raising the policy rate. This is a story we expect to continue to make headlines into 2023, as inflationary pressures remain persistent across Canada.”
The 2022 Housing Market at the Glance
The REBGV reported that throughout 2022, home sales in the region totalled 28,903, taking a 34.3% step back from the 43,999 sales recorded during the year prior. When comparing 2022 sales against those further back in 2020, sales were still down (6.6%), from the 30,944 recorded that year. Overall, 2022’s total sales were 13.4% below the 10-year sales average.
Home listings on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver reached 53,865 in 2022. This was a 13.5% decrease compared to the 62,265 homes listed back in 2021 and a 0.8% dip compared to the 54,305 homes listed earlier in 2020. Last year’s listings total was 3.2% below the region’s 10-year average.
Currently, the total number of homes listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,384 – 41% more than were recorded back in December 2021 (5,236), but 19.6% less than we saw last November (9,179).
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,114,300. This represents a 3.3% decrease over December 2021, a 1.5% decrease compared to November 2022, and a 9.8% decrease over the past six months.
“Closing out 2022, the data show that the Bank of Canada’s decisions to increase the policy rate at seven of the eight interest rate announcement dates in 2022 has translated into downward pressure on home sale activity and, to a lesser extent, home prices in Metro Vancouver,” Lis said. Adding, “While the consensus among many economists and forecasters suggests the Bank of Canada may be near the end of this tightening cycle, rates may remain elevated for longer than previously expected since the latest inflation figures aren’t showing signs of abating quickly. We’ll watch the 2023 spring market closely to see if buyers and sellers have adjusted to the higher borrowing-costs and are participating more actively in the market than we have seen over the last 12 months.”
Looking back at December’s Housing Market
Residential home sales in the region totalled 1,295 last December – a 19.8% decrease from the 1,614 homes sold in November a month prior, and a 51.8% drop from the 2,688 sales recorded in December back in 2021. Last month’s sales were 37.7% below the 10-year December sales average.
There were 1,206 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver throughout December. This represents a 38% decrease compared to the 1,945 homes listed in December 2021 and a 60.5% decrease compared to November 2022 when 3,055 homes were listed.
Sales-to-Active Listings Ratio and Composite Benchmark Price
For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio last December was 17.5%. By property type, that ratio came out as:
Detached homes: 12.3%
Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12% for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20% over several months.
Metro Vancouver Home Sales by Property Type
Sales of detached homes in December 2022 reached 371. This represents a 53.3% decrease from the 794 detached sales recorded in December 2021. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,823,300 – a 5.1% decrease from December 2021, a 1.8% decrease compared to November 2022, and a 11.4% decrease over the past six months.
Sales of apartment homes reached 702 in December 2022. A 52% decrease compared to the 1,464 sales in December 2021. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $713,700. This represents a 1.7% increase from December 2021, a 0.9% decrease compared to November 2022, and a 6.9% decrease over the past six months.
Attached home sales in December 2022 totalled 222, dropping by 48.4% compared to the 430 sales in December 2021. The benchmark price of an attached home is $1,012,700. This represents a 0.2% decrease from December 2021, a 1.5% decrease compared to November 2022, and a 9.2% decrease over the past six months.
*Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Whistler.