For Immediate Release

Vancouver, BC – [June 28, 2023]

In the vast and ever-changing landscape of real estate, there exist undeniable currents that shape its course. One such pivotal factor is interest rates.

As an analyst navigating the tumultuous seas of property markets, one must recognize the profound impact of these economic tides.

Our data paints a clear picture: as interest rates rose in June 2023, Vancouver property prices and sales volumes sharply fell – this holds true whether we’re looking at houses, apartments or townhouses.

The month-over-month slowdown from May to June 29 alone was jarring: on average, across all property types, we observed a reduction in sales by nearly 50%.

Summary of Findings

  1. Percentage Change in Number of Solds from May to June: 
    • ‘House/Single Family’ Solds decreased by approximately 49.2%
    • ‘Apartment/Condo’ Solds decreased by approximately 49.5%
    • ‘Townhouse’ Solds decreased by approximately 50.44%
    • The average rate of slowdown combining all property types from May to June 29 is nearly 50%.
  2. Implications: The inventory of properties is increasing, and the sales to active ratio is decreasing. This suggests a shift towards a possible balanced to buyer’s market, where supply exceeds demand.

These findings suggest that interest rates play a significant role in the real estate market. Higher interest rates tend to lead to lower property prices and fewer properties sold.

Seasonality?

Typically June is slower than May. So let’s compare previous May to June sales drops in previous years and see if we can find an outlier for this year’s drop in sales.

  • 2018: May to June: ((854 – 741) / 854) * 100 = 13.2%
  • 2019: May to June: ((784 – 578) / 784) * 100 = 26.3%
  • 2021: May to June: ((1209 – 1063) / 1209) * 100 = 12.1%
  • 2022: Total Sales: May 2022 was 896 and June 2022 was 711 = 20% drop

We purposely left 2020 May to June drop out because it was during Covid. Interestingly, May to June 2020 actually saw increases in sale by 42%. Its an outlier, and we will leave it out as it may skew things.

Now, let’s compare these drops to the drop in 2023:

2023: May to June 49.7%

As you can see, the drop in total sales from May to June in 2023 is significantly larger than the average drop in the same period in previous years:

This suggests that the sudden shift in stance by the Bank of Canada raising rates in June 2023 possibly has influenced the drop in sales in 2023 are having a much larger impact than the typical seasonal fluctuations we see from May to June.

Will this trend continue?

It remains to be seen. Let’s look at some more charts to examine the market in 2023.

Vancouver West and East – Sales / Property Types Over Time

In 2023, the real estate market, much like a heartbeat of a dead cat, showed a burst of energy in the early rounds. Sales of all property types – townhouses, condos, and detached houses – climbed steadily, showing a resilience and vigor that was admirable.

Sales By Property Type 2023

But the market had an opponent to contend with – interest rates. For the first five months, they held steady, like a rival sizing up its competition. But in June, they delivered a blow, rising slightly. The market staggered under the impact of perhaps a shift in market sentiment rather than the small rate hike.

  • Sales suddenly fell by 55% so far in June.
  • The sales to active ratio, a measure of the market’s balance, followed suit falling.
  • The inventory of properties has been increasing steadily.

Sales to Active Ratio 2023

The rise and fall of sales in 2023 is a stark reminder of the market’s vulnerability to interest rates. It’s a dance as old as time – as interest rates move, so does the market. And in June 2023, the music may have changed.

Condo Sales Vs Interest Rate Rise Over Time

With a eagle eye view you can see the drastic uptick in condo sales. Perhaps with buyers expecting a pivot in interest rates led to a market steep rise in sales. However, if that is not the case, and interest rates stay higher for longer, then market may revert to its previous trend.

Inventory Levels 2023

The inventory changes since Jan 2022 has been noteworthy:

  • Townhouse Inventory: Increased from 211 units on January 1, 2022, to 270 units on June 1, 2023.
  • Condo Inventory: Increased from 1447 units on January 1, 2022, to 1787 units on June 1, 2023.
  • Detached Inventory: Increased from 939 units on January 1, 2022, to 1016 units on June 1, 2023.

Percentage wise here are the inventory changes since Jan 2022 – June 28 2023

  • The Detached Inventory saw a rise of approximately 8.20%.
  • The Condo Inventory witnessed a rise of approximately 23.50%.
  • The Townhouse Inventory experienced a rise of approximately 27.96%.

Next, looking closer at the 4 graphs below, we can see in detail the shift in the Vancouver market:

Vancouver Single Family Homes Sold Vs Average Interest Rates

Vancouver Condos Sold Vs Average Interest Rates

Vancouver Townhouses Solds Vs Average Interest Rates

Vancouver Condo – List Price/Floor Area Vs Sold Price/Floor Area vs Average Interest Rates

The Price/Floor Area for condos have not decreased sharply. This shows a resiliency so far with market dynamics.

Interest Rates vs List Price

The graph above shows that list prices have retreated from their peak when interest rates had a “pause” leading buyers to jump into the markets.

Conclusion

Buyers jumped into the market to chase the rally of 2023 and hopes that perhaps the interest rates rise would stop.

As we noted recently, this bullish market rally certainly has a different tenor than what we witnessed in 2020-2022. Interest rates may stay higher for longer and it may impact the Vancouver real estate market significantly.

To wit: What is evident is that the recent run higher in prices may eventually correct. The question is whether that correction is a resumption of a “bear market,” confirming the “bull trap,” or an opportunity to buy a home as the bullish trend continues.

  • If interest rates continue to rise, we could see downward pressure on prices.
  • Sales may continue to fall, and inventory may continue to rise.
  • Buyers may find more options, and sellers may find it harder to sell.

Data Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Data Set: Vancouver West & Vancouver East Sold Data

About Richard Morrison:

Richard Morrison is a leading residential REALTOR® based in Vancouver, BC, with over 20 years of experience. He is known for his extensive professional background, marketing expertise, and commitment to innovation. He recently received the prestigious “REMAX Hall of Fame” award and has been a Medallion Member for 10 years for his contributions to the real estate industry.

For Media Inquiries:

Richard Morrison
Realtor®
Strawhomes.com
778-900-2235
richard@strawhomes.com

Richard Morrison, a veteran Vancouver Realtor®, has unveiled an AI Realtor®-like assistant,
AI PropertyIQ,” a revolutionary tool set to transform the real estate industry by providing enhanced property intelligence. The AI PropertyIQ offers instant property and market analysis, buying and selling insights, financing insights, and privacy protection, democratizing access to comprehensive real estate data and paving the way for a more informed and accessible real estate market.