In the Eye of the Storm: Vancouver Real Estate Detached Market

Posted by Dane Eitel, Eitel Insights

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As the eye of the storm is eerily calm, so too is the Greater Vancouver Detached Real Estate market. Largely thanks to historic government stimulus. Just a heads up, the stimulus, draws nigh. CERB is coming to its conclusion, the deferred mortgage program is ending, and evictions have returned, now let’s see where the market will head on its own volition. Hint, down she goes


The average price for the detached market in Greater Vancouver was 1.638 Million. Technically speaking this is the 20th data point since 2016 that has been around the middle threshold of 1.580M – 1.640M. What that signals to Eitel Insights, is this middle threshold is worn out. With over 30% of the data out of the last 58 data points resulting inside of that narrow 60 Thousand dollar band. Our interpretation of these multiple clusters is that prices have exhausted the middle threshold. The next challenge to the Greater Vancouver market will be to find the market bottom (likely at 1.40 Million during 2021), then consolidate that base price. Once that market has accomplished these herculean feats, prices will begin to rise. After the base, Greater Vancouver market will begin to climb, the middle threshold will be broken like water going through a tissue. As there have been multiple test of the threshold on the way down there will not be much need for sustained price tests on the way back up to the peak echelon.

Inventory has continued to grow, and August resulted in 4800 active listings. The highest level in the past 10 months however was still staunchly lower than the 15 year average of 6000 actives. At the current levels the inventory has 2000 less properties than 2018, but the average sales price is only 13 thousand dollars higher. That implies not too many are choosing to be selling their property during this time. The properties that are on the market are more than likely “need based sellers”, which as Eitel Insights has forecasted will continue to rise. One example of why there are less sellers than two years ago. The market was still considered by other analysts to be a hot market, listings were high as Realtors told sellers they could name their price and a buyer would pay it. That possibility never actually transpired, what did occur was a cancellation many listings, based on the Realtors advice that next year will be better, wrong again. Here is one example property out of many examples had listed for a pie in the sky price during previous years. A property listed in 2018 with a 1.658 Million list price, never sold, relisted in 2020 at 1.378 Million and sold for 1.285 Million. Want another example? Here you go, 2017 list price of 5.288 Million, 2019 list price 4.788, price reduction down to 4.388 Million, another reduction to 4.25 Million. 2020 list price 4.099 Million, sold for 3.80Million.

Would either of those properties have continued to chase the market lower unless there was some kind of a need to sell? I doubt it. This need to sell will continue to permeate throughout the detached market.

Sales ticked lower in August with 1108 sales, compared to July which had 1134. With the sales escaping the identified channel the past two months, we anticipate the data to return lower as the economy will be on its own, without the aid of any government buoys. The government did everything to halt the economic impact of Covid-19 across Canada, especially in the two largest real estate markets (Toronto & Vancouver) now that the government’s intervention in to the free market is coming to the end. The forthcoming data will continue to under deliver in upcoming quarters, now that folks have to go back to spending money they earn rather than spending the handouts.

After the anemic sales during April and May, the sale surge during July and August, should not come as a huge surprise. Taking all of the past 5 months of sales into consideration, April 393, May 544, June 873, July 1134 and August with 1108, the average is 810, when compared to the previous 2 years the average is good. However as you will remember, Eitel Insights has stated this market has been falling off since peaking in 2017. The 5 year average of sales during the 5 month span is 1163 sales indicating the 810 to be less than stellar.

Yes, we are aware that interest rates are low, but now that the governments have moved off of the standard 2% inflation target, I do not see any real panic to lock in the rate before they soar higher, do you? If you don’t, we suggest to practice patience and look to accomplish a sale at a lower price point with more selection during 2021.

Eitel Insights has offered 2021 as a target to purchase since 2017, unlike all other analysts who have flipped flopped over themselves in the past few years, we remain staunch due to our ability to block out the noise and stick to the analytical interpretation. These ever changing fundamentals that most pontificators speak on are on data that transpired a quarter ago at least, this data is tainted with the CERB and other unusual stimulus. Those fundamental negative results will not be seen until 2021, then they will say the sky is falling after it already fell.

Real estate need not be, buy, and close your eyes. With Eitel Insights we open your eyes to the possibility of tackling the largest purchase of a life time with unemotional analytical interpretation, along with a history of accurately forecasting various markets across Canada.

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