Vancouver-area home sales slowed in January as supply dwindled: real estate board

he Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says January home sales in the area slowed from a record-setting pace last year as the number of properties available dropped.

The B.C. board says home sales totalled 2,285 last month, an almost five per cent decrease from 2,389 in January 2021 and a 15 per cent fall from 2,688 in December 2021.

However, the board says sales last month were 25.3 per cent above the 10-year January average.

The board also recorded 4,170 new listings last month, down almost seven per cent from 4,480 homes last January, but more than double December 2021, when 1,945 homes were listed.

The benchmark price for all residential properties in the region reached more than $1.2 million last month, up 18.5 per cent from last January and two per cent from December.

The board’s economist Keith Stewart says conditions in the market remain tight because there is a lack of supply and a lot of people taking advantage of low interest rates.

“Our listing inventory on MLS is less than half of what would be optimal to begin the year. As a result, hopeful homebuyers have limited choice in the market today,” he said in a statement.

“This trend is causing fierce competition for a scarce number of homes for sale, which, in turn, increases prices.”

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver covers Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, West Vancouver and Whistler.

Brendon Ogmundson, chief economist for the B.C. Real Estate Association, says prospective home buyers provincewide are up against a lack of inventory, which will probably drive prices up through all of 2022.

“We really need to get more supply onto the market so that we don’t see 20, 25 per cent increases in home prices,” said Ogmundson.

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