January witnessed a notable surge in home sales, indicating a move towards a seller's market. Although specific regions experienced varying degrees of activity, the overarching theme is an upward trajectory in sales, signalling renewed buyer interest. New listings, while slightly below historical averages, contributed to a dynamic market landscape. The anticipation for the end of the rate hike cycle adds a layer of expectation, suggesting potential revitalization in both buyer and seller activity across regions.
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Starting 2024 off strong with an uptick in demand
We concluded 2023 in a balanced market, but as we rang in the new year, home sales in the month of January have increased and conditions have begun shifting toward a seller’s market. In January, the resale market in Greater Vancouver saw 1,427 transactions, marking a notable 38.5% jump from the 1,030 sales reported in January 2023. However, these numbers still fall short of the 10-year seasonal average of 1,788 resales by 20.2%.
New listings in the month of January total 3,788, falling 9.1% behind the 10-year seasonal average. However, total inventory amounted to 8,633, aligning closely with the 10-year seasonal average. Regardless, this volume of listings was insufficient for the uptick in home sales recorded.
The MLS® HPI composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is currently $1,161,300. This represents a 0.6% decrease from the previous month but a 4.2% increase year-over-year. Pricing of detached homes increased the most significantly year over year by 7.3%, whereas attached homes and apartments increased by 4.3% and 4.4% respectively when compared to January 2023.
All property types are currently in a balanced market, but edging closer to a seller's market, with an overall sales-to-active listings ratio of 17.2%. Detached homes, however, are still in a buyer's market with a ratio of 11.9%, while townhomes are positioned in a seller's market with a ratio of 22.0%. Apartments hover on the brink of a seller's market, with a sales-to-active listings ratio of 19.9%.
Sales to Listing Ratio
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Positive momentum begins in the Fraser Valley
In January, the Fraser Valley witnessed an uptick in sales activity, marking the first increase following six months of consecutive decline, with a total of 938 resale transactions. Despite this positive momentum, January’s sales remain slightly below the ten-year monthly average. Nonetheless, the observed increase in sales signal a potential resurgence in consumer interest and a notable number of buyers re-entering the market.
The Fraser Valley likewise experienced a surge in new listings for the month of January, reaching a total of 2,368 new listings. This marked a substantial 151% increase from December 2023, and represents the most significant month-over-month increase experienced in the past five years. Consequently, total active listings for the month rose to 4,877, surpassing both the figures from the previous year and the ten-year monthly average for January. Despite the significant influx of new inventory into the market, the combination of low inventory from the previous year and an uptick in demand in January has allowed the Fraser Valley condo and townhome markets to remain in a seller’s market with sales-to-listings ratios of 27% and 34%, respectively.
The MLS® HPI composite benchmark price remained relatively stable at $985,900 for the month of January. This represents a decrease of less than half a percent from December but remains 18% below peak prices seen in March 2022. As the anticipation for the end of the rate hike cycle continues to grow, both buyers and sellers are expected to re-enter the market, revitalizing activity in the Fraser Valley.
Sales to Listing Ratio
Overall activity in Victoria increases as the market eases into the new year
In January 2024, the Victoria Real Estate Board witnessed an increase in both sales activity and overall listings, as the market showed signs of stabilization. The board recorded a total of 341 transactions, up by 22.7% from the very low levels seen in January 2023, and up 3.6% from the previous month. Active listings totalled 2,140, signifying a 0.4% increase from the prior month and a 23.1% increase from the previous year. Despite this, activity remains below historical norms, and the market remains in a balanced market with an overall sales-to-listings ratio of 15.9%.
Consequently, the HPI benchmark value for condominiums in the Victoria Core in January 2024 stood at $559,000, marking a 0.6% decline from the prior month and a 0.5% decrease from January of last year. As overall activity continues to be constrained by elevated rates, pricing will likely continue to soften until a large resurgence of demand in the market.