Demand continues to fall throughout the region as both the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver boards post sales to listing ratios falling under 20% (19.2% in Fraser Valley, 18.4% in Vancouver) for the first time since January (the ratios ranged between 30 and 40% between March and June). Townhomes have held the greatest demand, especially in the Fraser Valley where 30% of homes still sold in September. The hardest hit have been higher priced detached homes, with both boards posting sales to listing ratios in the 13% range.
The weakening sales to listing ratios is a result of sluggish sales with rising listing inventory, which benefits buyers. The benchmark detached home in the Fraser Valley has declined slightly from $1.543m in July to $1.526m in September, meanwhile Greater Vancouver has held value and even slightly increased since then, from $2.013m to $2.107m.
Fraser Valley townhomes, however, have held steadier, staying around the $845-850,000 range since June. Greater Vancouver townhomes have declined a bit from $1.105m to $1.098m between July and September. This steadiness is also seen in Greater Vancouver’s apartment market, where values have shifted slightly from $771,600 in July to $768,500 in September. In the Fraser Valley, the softening is a bit more pronounced, with values decreasing from $555,500 to $545,900.
MLS BENCHMARK VALUE
Why it’s important: The MLS HPI Price, or benchmark value, tracks a hypothetical “typical” home for a defined area. Unlike “Average” and “Median” values, it excludes extreme lows and highs in the market and mitigates influence of anomalies, especially in small markets caused by anything from a land assembly to a new development that might not be representative of the typical home. One drawback is that is is generally a conservative value intended to track home values over a longer period of time, and therefore may not always address occasional quick shifts in the marketplace. See more at the REBGV’s explanation: MLS® Home Price Index explained.
Why it’s important: By itself, the number of sales or the number of listings don’t, or shouldn’t really matter to the general public. Yes, it is important for REALTORS to know how many sales there are in one’s own community, since it is our industry and our livelihood depends on the number of sales. It is more important for the general public to know and understand the ratio between the number of sales and the number listings.
This is the best gauge of supply and demand of real estate in the market place. A higher percentage means that a greater proportion of homes listed sold in that respective month. The higher the percentage, the more favourable it is for a seller – the lower the percentage, the more favourable the market is for buyers. Logically, when the ratio increases, prices generally rise and when it falls, prices follow. There are more variables to home prices so this is a generalization, and it often takes several months for the market to adjust in pricing.
It is also important to understand how our region calculates the Sales to Actives Ratio. It is NOT actually the ratio between the number of sales and the number of TOTAL listings. It is, rather, the number of Sales to the number of listings at the end of the month. This is why you can see percentages well above 100% in a hot market.
Finally, the thresholds of what people, myself included, might call a “buyers market”, “sellers market”, and “balanced market” are completely arbitrary. It is not uncommon to see thresholds such as 0-17% as a “buyers market”, 18-21% as a “balanced market” and 22%+ as a “sellers market”, or something similar. However, I stress that these are relative terms.
AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET
Why it’s important: The average days on market can be used in conjunction with the sales to listing ratio to gauge the supply and demand. Obviously, this calculation is found through the sum total of days on market among all sold properties, divided by the total number of sales. However, there may be a lag in a rapidly downshifting market (ie low sales to listing ratio). If more properties are sitting on the market, the average days on market of ACTIVE listings may be going up, but they will not be calculated into the average sold days on market… not until they sell. The averages days on market to sale is a useful tool for sellers as it is potentially an indicator of an overpriced property, should their listing by grossly over the average days. However, similar to the sales to listing ratio, every property is its own unique situation and all factors should be considered carefully.
Below: Market Reports for… (click to jump)
REGIONAL – GREATER VANCOUVER
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) represents the municipalities closest to, and including, the City of Vancouver. This includes cities like Richmond, Burnaby, and Coquitlam, as well as farther Sechelt & Maple Ridge.
Benchmark: $2,017,500 (+5.8% vs Sept 2022)
The benchmark value for detached homes in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver experienced a nominal decrease from $2.019m to $2.018m. The sales to active listing ratio, however, is showing weakening demand as only 13.0% of homes in the region sold in September, placing it solidly in a buyers market. The number of new listings continues to decrease in the 3rd quarter, but the lack of sales still favours current buyers.
Benchmark: $1,098,400 (+5.3% vs Sept 2022)
Greater Vancouver townhomes had their second consecutive benchmark price decrease, falling from $1,103,900 to $1,098,400. The number of new listings jumped up, but sales declined for the 4th straight month. The sales to listing ratio representing the overall demand shows relative stability in the marketplace, also fell for the 4th straight month, down to 21.7% in September, down from 32.1% in August and 47% in May.
Benchmark: $768,500 (+5.8% vs Sept 2022) | Avg Price p/sqft: $959
The “typical” Greater Vancouver apartment condo didn’t change in its average price per square foot over the last month again, and the benchmark value saw only a nominal decrease, from $770,000 to $768,500. Unlike August, September sales figures plummeted, while new listings jumped up. This has led the sales to listing ratio fell to 21.7%, down from 30.8% in August and 43.7% in May.
REGIONAL – FRASER VALLEY
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board represents the south of the Fraser Valley cities from North Delta in the west to Abbotsford in the east… plus Mission.
Benchmark: $1,526,000 (+4.6% vs Sept 2022)
The benchmark value for Fraser Valley’s detached homes decreased for the second straight month from 2023’s high of $1,543,300 in July down to $1,526,000 in September. The sales to listing ratio continues to fall, now down to 12.7%, representative a strong buyers market. This is a far cry from the 26-30% detached homes experienced between March and June of this year. The number of sales declined again for the third month, to 350, while the number of new listings jumped up for the first time since May.
Benchmark: $848,600 (+3.5% vs Sept 2022)
Fraser Valley’s benchmark townhome values continue to remain pretty even, with absolute dollar figures only $3,200 more in September than they were back in June. Sales figures continue to fall sharply, while new listings received a slight bump. The sales to listing ratio, therefore, witnessed its third straight month-over-month decline in favour of buyers, to 30.5%, but is still in a “sellers market” territory.
Benchmark: $545,900 (+3.4% vs Sept 2022) | Avg Price p/sqft: $672
After 7 straight month of rising values since December 2022, the benchmark value for Fraser Valley apartments fell for the second straight month – this time, a bit sharper than the previous month. The number of sales fell again in September, as new listings jumped, resulting in another decline of the sales to listing ratio, down to 24.2%. This still represents a sellers market, but with a definite weakening trend.
REGIONAL – CHILLIWACK
The Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board represents the south of the Fraser Valley communities from Yarrow to Lytton.
Chilliwack HPI Tool Found at https://www.cadreb.com/news-statistics/consumer-hpi/
Benchmark: $902,200 (+5.4% vs September 2022)
Chilliwack detached homes bucked the trend found in the other Lower Mainland regions and actually saw the benchmark price rise in September. While still lower than the 2023 high back in July, it is much more favourable for homeowners than August’s sharp decline. The number of new listings increased for the first time in three months, as did sales. So after three months of declining sales to listing ratio, which hit a low of 12.1% in August, it is back up to 17.1%.
Benchmark: $614,300 (-1.3% vs September 2022)
The typical Chilliwack townhome also bumped back up after a small August fall, essentially to where we were in July. Unlike detached homes, sales fell a bit to their lowest point since January, while new listings bounced a bit higher, resulting in a slightly lower sales to listing ratio in September, at 29.2%. This ratio, however, was up past 72% in May and has been in the 50% range over the summer.
Benchmark: $411,200 (-0.1% vs September 2022) | Avg Price p/sqft: $388
After 8 straight months of price increases since December 2022, Chilliwack apartments fell to $411,200 from the previous months $421,500. This is likely due to the second straight month of falling sales, while new listings continue to jump, leading to the sales to listing ratio falling to 13.8%, representative of a strong buyers market.
MLS BENCHMARK VALUE – ABBOTSFORD
SALES:LISTING RATIO – ABBOTSFORD
AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET – ABBOTSFORD
MLS BENCHMARK VALUE – BURNABY
SALES:LISTING RATIO – BURNABY
AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET – BURNABY
MLS BENCHMARK VALUE – COQUITLAM
SALES:LISTING RATIO – COQUITLAM
AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET – COQUITLAM
The City of Delta is the only local municipality that is represented by two different real estate boards, carving it up between “North Delta” (in the FVREB) and “Ladner” and “Tsawwassen” (in REBGV). Due to this separation, there isn’t a combined MLS statistical dataset for Delta, despite being a community of over 108,000 (2021 Census). North Delta generally represents 45-50% of sales in Delta.
MLS BENCHMARK VALUE – NORTH DELTA
MLS BENCHMARK VALUE – SOUTH DELTA
SALES:LISTING RATIO – NORTH DELTA
SALES:LISTING RATIO – SOUTH DELTA
AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET – NORTH DELTA
AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET – SOUTH DELTA
DELTA & TSAWWASSEN DETACHED HOMES
DELTA & TSAWWASSEN TOWNHOMES
DELTA & TSAWWASSEN APARTMENTS
Note: The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board includes Langley City as a “sub-area” of “Greater Langley”, but does not provide data for the Township of Langley separate from the City. Unfortunately this means that there is no separate “Benchmark HPI” dedicated solely to the Township, but there is for the City. The line on the graph you see representing “Langley” is for, in fact, “Greater Langley”. I will use the term “Greater Langley” in reference to the combination of both Langleys.
MLS BENCHMARK VALUE – LANGLEY
SALES:LISTING RATIO – LANGLEY
AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET – LANGLEY
MLS BENCHMARK VALUE – MAPLE RIDGE
SALES:LISTING RATIO – MAPLE RIDGE
AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET – MAPLE RIDGE
MLS BENCHMARK VALUE – NEW WESTMINSTER
SALES:LISTING RATIO – NEW WESTMINSTER
AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET – NEW WESTMINSTER
MLS BENCHMARK VALUE – SURREY & WHITE ROCK
SALES:LISTING RATIO – SURREY & WHITE ROCK
AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET – SURREY & WHITE ROCK
SURREY & WHITE ROCK DETACHED HOMES
SURREY & WHITE ROCK APARTMENTS
My primary focus is in the Fraser Valley and a select number of Greater Vancouver cities. However, what happens in Vancouver has a significant effect on the rest of the municipalities in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, so it is important to understand the trends happening in the City, as they generally trickle down to other communities.
MLS BENCHMARK VALUE – VANCOUVER
SALES:LISTING RATIO – VANCOUVER
AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET – VANCOUVER
CITY NOT LISTED?
Yes, I do cover more cities than those listed above. However, these market reports can get lengthy so I focus on areas which I either do the majority of my business and/or municipalities that have a significant affect on the regional market. If you would like more information about any additional city in the region, please do not hesitate to send me a message at email@example.com.