February 15, 2024 Greater Vancouver February 2024 Presale Pulse


February 2024 Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market Insights

Welcome to the February 2024 episode of the Presale Pulse, a real estate show brought to you by hosts Suzana Goncalves and Brittany Reimer. Watch the video to understand the latest macroeconomics, presale, and resale trends over the last 30 days affecting the local real estate market across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. 

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Central Bank Chess: Understanding the Moves in January's Real Estate Macroeconomics

The real estate macroeconomic landscape experienced significant events in January, marked by economic data releases and pivotal central bank meetings in both Canada and the United States. The Bank of Canada (BOC) opted to maintain its overnight rate at 5.00%, marking the fourth consecutive time since the last hike in July of the previous year. The BOC's decision was somewhat anticipated, reflecting caution despite a recent acceleration in inflation to 3.4%. While the BOC released new inflation forecasts, aiming for a 2% target by Q2 2025, Governor Macklem explicitly discussed the prospect of a cut later in the year for the first time. On the other side of the border, the U.S. Federal Reserve also maintained its overnight rate, with the U.S. economy exhibiting resilience compared to Canada, boasting stronger GDP growth and labour numbers amid ongoing efforts to control inflation. The differing economic performances pose challenges for predicting the timing and depth of rate cuts in Canada, with markets projecting a potential cut by July 2024. These macroeconomic dynamics underscore the cautious approach of central banks as they navigate the complex landscape of economic indicators.

Dynamic Initiatives and Noteworthy Sales in January's Greater Vancouver Presale Market

The Greater Vancouver presale market exhibited a measured start to the year, with three projects launching, collectively introducing 434 units to the market. Fraser Mills' Encore, the second phase of their development, made a noteworthy entrance, achieving a significant 50% inventory sales within its inaugural month. The monthly absorptions reached 38.2%, predominantly driven by Encore's success, reflecting a promising start to the year. Five launches are forecasted for February, contributing 770 units to the market. The highly anticipated Realtor Event for Ashleigh Oakridge by Peterson garnered substantial attention, showcasing Alma and Berkeley buildings and offering limited-time incentives. Lunar New Year celebrations brought forth various events, with Oakridge Park by Westbank and Quadreal providing compelling incentives, including a 3.88% fixed-rate mortgage and substantial savings for early buyers. These initiatives align with the market's adaptation to address buyer hesitancy amid elevated interest rates, setting the stage for a dynamic and engaging real estate landscape in the coming months.

From Modesty to Momentum in the Greater Vancouver Resale Market 

In January, the Greater Vancouver resale market saw a modest start to the year, with sales totalling 1,427. While this marked a 6.1% increase from the previous month and a notable 38.5% improvement from last year, the figures still fell short of the 10-year average by approximately 20%. Despite the initial sluggishness, recent weeks have witnessed heightened buyer activity, fostering a more competitive landscape with multiple offer scenarios in certain areas. The total active listings for the month stood at 8,633, representing a 1.9% decrease from the previous month but a 9.8% increase compared to the same period last year. January's new listings fell behind the 10-year seasonal average by 9.1%, totalling 3,788. The sales-to-active-listings ratio currently sits at 17.2%, indicating a balanced market, but a closer look reveals variations among property types, with detached homes in a buyer's market, townhomes in a seller's market, and apartments teetering on the edge of entering a seller's market. The HPI benchmark price experienced a slight month-over-month decrease of -0.6%, likely influenced by low overall volumes, with expectations of a shift as the market transitions into the spring season. In summary, while sales show signs of improvement, concerns persist about matching demand with new inventory, potentially pushing the market back into seller's territory and exerting upward pressure on pricing. 

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