Vancouver Real Estate Inventory Climbs 46%, Weakest Demand In Years

Vancouver Real Estate Inventory Climbs 46%, Weakest Demand In Years

Greater Vancouver real estate’s predicted Spring boom currently looks like a bust. Greater Vancouver Realtors, the new name for REBGV, reported home prices moved minimally in May. What really stood out was a collapse in sales and a surge in inventory, an unusual sight at this time of year. How unusual? Outside of 2020, one needs to go back more than a decade to find such a weak demand balance for the month. 

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Prices Still Near Record Highs

The price of a benchmark, or typical home, across Greater Vancouver.

Source: CREA; Greater Vancouver Realtors; Better Dwelling.

Greater Vancouver home prices are moving higher, though at a snail’s pace. The price of a typical home climbed 0.5% to $1.21 million in May, about 2.3% higher than last year. Last month marked the fourth consecutive monthly gain for the benchmark, though the market appears to be losing a little steam. 

Vancouver Real Estate Price Growth Is Slowing

The 12-month change to Greater Vancouver’s benchmark home price, in percentage points.

Source: CREA; Greater Vancouver Realtors; Better Dwelling.

The 12-month trend is already pulling back after only remaining positive for a few months. Annual growth at 2.3% is the lowest rate since August 2023. The growth rate peaked in March this year, but prior to 2020, it was more typical to see a seasonal slowdown much later in the year. 

Great Vancouver Home Sales Fall, Inventory Surges 46% Higher

Greater Vancouver buyers didn’t show up last month, but a whole lot of sellers did. Existing home sales fell 19.9% from last year to just 2,700 in May. New listings climbed 12.6% to 6,400 homes over the same period. Falling sales and more sellers led to an unusually weak demand balance for this time of year. 

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Demand Had One The Weakest Mays On Record

The sales to new listings ratio (SNLR) for Greater Vancouver real estate for the month of May.

Source: CREA; Greater Vancouver Realtors; Better Dwelling.

The sales-to-new listings ratio (SNLR) is the industry’s preferred measure of demand. It has trimmed 17.4 points since last year, falling to just 42.9% in May. That placed it just above the 40% threshold for a buyer’s market, where prices are expected to fall. It’s an unusually low ratio for May—excluding 2020, one has to go all the way back to 2012 to find one with a lower ratio.  

Weakening demand is helping to bolster the remaining inventory. Active listings reached 13,600 units, up 46.3% from last year. The board notes that this was 19.9% higher than the 10-year seasonal average. 

Fewer sales and higher inventory are the general takeaways from virtually all of the data. This trend has been observed across Canada, with experts attributing weak sales to elevated interest rates. Most are calling for higher sales as interest rates pull back, though rates aren’t seen falling nearly as much as would be required to restore any meaningful improvements to affordability in the near term.