The month of April turned out to be another disappointing month for home sales activity across Vancouver. Detached home sales in the city of Vancouver fell 25% year-over-year in April. This was the fewest home sales on record for the month with data going back to 1992. This was identical to what happened in March and virtually erasing any hopes of a Spring market pickup. With sales this weak prices will need to adjust lower it is really just a matter of sellers slowly adjusting to current market conditions. Selling a home is an emotional process and every seller wants to at least give their initial asking price a shot.
Perhaps rather surprisingly, detached inventory actually fell on a year-over-year basis, dropping 14.3%. This is mostly because new listings fell steeply, dropping 30% from last year. Perhaps sellers are trying to wait out the market, or perhaps a flood of new listings is en route, it remains to be seen. However, there remains just under 12 months of inventory available for sale which is still very high and will continue to place downwards pressure on prices.
Prices are still moving lower, particularly in the high end of the market where bids have really dried up. This is prompting steep discounts making luxury homes appear more in reach and creating a flight to quality. Essentially, the price declines in the high end of the market are finally tricking down into the lower end. Of course the discounts are not as substantial but we are seeing more homes in East Vancouver selling below the million dollar mark and the vast majority of homes are selling below the tax assessed value. The benchmark price of a detached home reported a 12.8% decline year-over-year.