Vancouver housing market shows signs of balance

If there’s one word that describes Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley’s current housing market, it’s balanced.

“Right now we’re at 22 per cent [sales-to-listings ratio], which means 22 per cent of the homes for sale are selling,” Real Estate Board of Vancouver president Rosario Setticasi said in an interview Tuesday. “So, it’s balanced at the upper end and favours sellers, just barely.”

Setticasi noted that sales are below the 10-year average and home listings above what’s typical for June, and that means a closer alignment between supply and demand in the marketplace.

He said the sales-to-listings ratio is falling — and with it, upward pressure on prices.

“We were at 26 to 29 per cent when the market was really moving [and] last month it was at 24 per cent, so it’s dropped a bit. If it drops further it will be more to the buyers’ advantage because there’s more listings, and vendors are competing for buyers.”

Tsur Somerville, director, centre for urban economics and real estate, Sauder School of Business at the University of B.C., said in an interview that he senses a slight “step back” in sales following sharp increases earlier in the year.

As well, he said, sellers are responding to the higher prices through increased listings.

“If listings are growing faster than sales, it’s a lower sales-to-listings ratio, which is more favourable to buyers,” he added.

Source: Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun

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