BC Real Estate Listings at Eight-Year Low

Posted by Steve Harmer on Monday, October 19th, 2015 at 9:20am.

Despite lack of choice, home sales across province rise 12 per cent year-over-year in September as buyers snap up what's on offer, according to new figures.


Unrelenting demand for real estate across BC is pulling home listings inventory to an eight-year low, according to British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) figures released October 14.

There were just 39,977 units available for sale in the province in September – a low that hasn’t been seen since early 2008.

“Strong consumer demand has pulled down the inventory of homes for sale to its lowest level in eight years,” confirmed Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist.

“Market conditions are favouring home sellers in some board areas, while contributing to relative balance between buyers and sellers in others.”

Despite the shortage of homes on offer, sales across the province remained brisk in September. There were 8,553 residential unit sales recorded by Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC, up 12 per cent over September 2014.

The total sales dollar volume across BC in September was $5.2 billion, an 18 per cent increase over the same month last year. This jump is due to combination of the rising transaction volumes and the average MLS® residential price in BC rising to $605,258, up 5.3 per cent from September 2014.


Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 33.8 per cent to $49.5 billion, when compared with the same period in 2014.

Greater Vancouver was the board to see the largest decline in active listings in September, dropping 26.2 per cent year over year. However. its sales-to-active-listings ratio of 28.9 dropped to the position of the province’s second highest, having been taken over by the Fraser Valley at 29.3 per cent. This arguably means that the Fraser Valley has overtaken Greater Vancouver as the region deepest into sellers’ market territory.  

The Northern Lights board again registered the province’s largest annual price decline, and one that is declining at an increasingly rapid pace, with the average price of a home in that region falling 20.2 per cent year over year in September.


National home sales increased fell by 2.1 per cent in September compared with the previous month, but beat year-ago levels, according to Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) figures released October 14.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales in Septemer were 0.7 per cent higher than September 2014, and reached the second-highest on record for the month, standing just 0.3 per cent (130 transactions) below the record set in September 2009.

“Sales are off the peak reached earlier this year but are still running strong, particularly in British Columbia and Ontario,” said CREA president Pauline Aunger. “That said, sales strength varies considerably among markets and price segments across Canada.”

Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist, added,“Although national sales activity was not as strong in September as it was earlier this year, a lack of supply in some parts of the country is likely keeping a lid on transactions.

“The GTA and Greater Vancouver made sizeable contributions to the monthly decline in national sales activity. They also rank among the tightest urban housing markets in the country due to a shortage of inventory and supply of land on which to build, which is why prices there continue to grow strongly.”

The CREA’s home price index (HPI) benchmark for a Canadian home – an aggregate of the Canadian regions and cities surveyed – was $504,800 in September, a rise of 6.90 per cent on a year-over-year basis, accelerating from 6.43 per cent in August, 5.90 per cent in July and 5.43 in June. Greater Vancouver’s benchmark price once again stood at the highest in the country at $722,300.

The CREA report added that the HPI provides a better gauge of price trends than using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in September 2015 was $433,649, up 6.1 per cent year-over-year.

The CREA report added, “The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. If these two markets are excluded from calculations, the average is a more modest $334,705 and the year-over-year gain is reduced to 2.9 per cent.

BC Real Estate Listings at Eight-Year Low as Demand Intensifies: BCREA

Despite lack of choice, home sales across province rise 12 per cent year-over-year in September as buyers snap up what's on offer, according to new figures

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