Winter is typically the quietest period in the Vancouver real estate market. That season begins with the month of December and the onset of the holiday season.
This past December certainly saw that expected decline in market activity.
Sales fell to 763 (-26% month-to-month and -9% year-to-year). While it was down in the most recent comparisons, that sales number was WELL above the 10-year average...28% over, in fact.
Meanwhile, new listings dropped significantly to 613 (-55% month-to-month and -11% year-to-year). This number was +19% over the 10-year average.
I believe that this is the story for December. Both sales and new listings were WAY above what we find is normal for the month...and yet, total active listings reached just 2,225 (-32% month-to-month and -26% year-to-year).
That active listing count is -13% the 10-year average...and the lowest number of listings that we've had in Vancouver in the last five years. It's not since December of 2017 (2,180) that we've had so few options for potential buyers.
All sub-markets saw hefty price gains through the month of December. The strongest price appreciation was in East Vancouver where demand has been highest (led by a 1.46% month-to-month increase for East Van house prices). Even Westside houses (the market laggard) saw a +0.58% month-to-month increase.
If you've been looking to buy a property recently, these numbers will ring true. Many buyers are frustrated at the lack of options in the market....and find themselves chasing the best listings along with all the rest.
So, where do we go from here?
The level of activity seen through December will certainly carry through into January. I expect that we will see unseasonably high sales and new listings for the foreseeable future...it's going to be a busy spring.