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Three data points do make a trend

Ryan Berlin on indicators that Metro Vancouver’s real estate market is warming back up.

After 2018’s slump spilled over into the first six months of 2019, some of the region’s pent-up demand began to re-emerge in July, beginning a stretch of three months that may alter the way ultimately look back on the market’s overall performance during 2019.

So without further ado, here are the three latest and greatest market insights that you should know.

  1. Compared to one year ago, sales were up 41% in September.

It's true, sales were a whopping 41% higher this past September than the previous one. This was still 2% below the long-run September average, but it moved sales back to levels that could be considered “normal,” at least insofar as our historical experience is concerned.

  1. Sales were up 4.0% in September compared to August – a time of year when sales counts typically fall.

Compared to its year-over-year counterpart, the month-over-month change in sales is actually a better indicator of how the region’s housing market is evolving in real time. And with sales rising by 4.0% in September compared to August, the market is bucking the typical trend of a 5.4% decline in sales at this time of year. It reinforces the notion that buyers are returning to the fray after many months on the sidelines.

  1. Year-over-year detached inventory was 11% lower in September, with multi-family listings following a similar path

For the third consecutive month, detached inventory was lower than the previous year. Notably, this trend is leading that of the multi-family segment, meaning the stage is set for a contraction of available multi-family homes in the coming months.

We don’t know for certain how the rest of 2019 is going to play out. Will we see a continuation of recent trends (the October month-to-date data suggest we may) or the emergence of new ones?

Either way, it will lay the groundwork for what’s to come in 2020.

Ryan Berlin is the Senior Economist with rennie intelligence