Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market: November 2012

Real Estate Weekly
December 6, 2012

That chill you feel is the Greater Vancouver real estate market cooling off. The November numbers from the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board show a 28.6 per cent drop in MLS sales from last November, while prices continued to decline slightly. New listings dropped to 12.9 per cent below the 10-year average for November as many sellers decided not to venture out into a market that's going cold.

Sales and Listings

November has never been a month when people rush to list their homes, but last month saw a 9.7 per cent drop from October, and a 14.4 per cent decline in new listings from November 2011.

The REBGV reports that there are 3,000 fewer listings in its jurisdiction than there were in June, when they peaked. Currently there are 15,689 homes listed for resale in the Greater Vancouver real estate market.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the Vancouver market posted the largest November new listings drop in Canada, with new supply at its lowest level in more than two years.

However, despite the drop in new listings, current active listings are up 13 per cent from last November and the sales-to-active-listings ratio stayed at 11 per cent. That indicates that buyers are scarce, and it backs up what we hear from Realtors: the most desirable homes are still selling if they're priced to match current expectations. Buyers are exercising their right to be persnickety in a buyer's market.

What's Up, What's Down - At a Glance
  Nov 2012/Oct 2012 Nov 2012/Nov 2011
Overall Sales -12.7% -28.6%
- Detached -20.1% -31.3%
- Townhome -9.2% -30.9 %
- Apartment -6.6% -25%
New Listings -36.2% -14.4%
Current Listings -9.7% +13%

Benchmark Price (MLS Home Price Index)

Eugen Klein, president of the REBGV, says we hit the price peak in May, when the overall MLS Home Price Index stood at $625,100. "Home prices in Greater Vancouver have generally declined between three and five and a half per cent, depending on property type, since reaching a peak six months ago."

Greater Vancouver Benchmark Prices % Change
  Nov 2012 Oct 2012 Nov 2011
Detached $914,500 -1.4% -2.3%
Townhome $454,300 -0.7% -2.1%
Apartment $364,900 -1.1% -1.0%

These areas have seen the biggest price drops since the May peak. Detached:

  • Coquitlam and Vancouver West -9.7 per cent
  • West Vancouver -9.0 per cent
  • Burnaby East -6.3 per cent
  • Richmond -6.2 per cent
  • New Westminster -6.1 per cent


  • Squamish -7.2 per cent
  • Whistler -7.0 per cent
  • Tsawwassen -6.0 per cent


  • West Vancouver -9.1 per cent
  • Whistler -7.7 per cent
  • Pitt Meadows -6.3 per cent
  • Port Coquitlam -6.1 per cent

The price drops have increased the dropout rate for sellers. "Home sellers appear more inclined to remove their properties from the market today rather than lower prices to sell their properties," says Klein.

Robyn Lake, CMHC's senior market analyst for Vancouver, has also noted the phenomenon. Her latest Housing Market Outlook says, "Sellers who were unsuccessful in getting offers close to their listed prices have mostly opted to pull their properties off the market rather than sell at a discount."

In a recent presentation she noted that the friction point is 94 per cent of the asking price, at least when it comes to detached houses, as this chart shows. Good inside information if you're a buyer set on a particular home.

Chart shows homes that sold for 6% less than listing price vs homes that were pulled off the MLS market.

REBGV full stats package

CMHC Cautiously Optimistic about Local Housing Market

See also:

Fraser Valley Real Estate Market November 2012

Chilliwack Real Estate Market November 2012

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