September 2023 Market Statistics

In this month's statistics email we've added a link to a very interesting video on the history of the Vancouver area from 9,000 years ago (!) to today. We hope that you enjoy it. See the link after the statistics.

The Bank of Canada has halted their interest rate increases for the short term, as the inflation rate has shown signs of slowing. Those rising borrowing costs have had a noticeable impact on the number of buyers that are prepared to enter the market. Price increases are moderating, but have remained resilient so far.

Now, in the second year of this interest rate rollercoaster, the key theme has been "adaptation." Many aspiring homebuyers have learned to navigate within these evolving circumstances. This resilience has been particularly evident in the British Columbia market, surpassing earlier expectations for the year.

With 100,000 mortgages renewing every month in Canada there may soon be a glut of homes on the market if the present owner cannot afford the higher payments even by stretching their amortization period. See this CBC article for more information: A 47-year mortgage? They're out there — and even longer ones could be coming

We have recently seen renewed interest by homebuilders, as many municipalities have increased the allowable building density by a substantial margin. This means that the value of homes (or rather, the land that they are built on) within these rezoned areas have skyrocketed as builders scramble to buy those in the best locations.
The month-over-month price gains seen earlier this year abated in the Metro Vancouver housing market in September due to a seasonal decline in sales and a modest increase in inventory levels across the region. 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totaled 1,926 in September 2023, a 13.2 percent increase from the 1,701 sales recorded in September 2022. This was 26.3 percent below the 10-year seasonal average (2,614). 

A key dynamic that we’ve been watching this year has been the reluctance of some homeowners to list their homes given that mortgage rates are the highest they’ve been in over ten years,” Andrew Lis, REBGV’s director of economics and data analytics said. “With fewer listings coming to the market earlier this year than usual, inventory levels remained very low, which led prices to increase throughout the spring and summer months.”
 LINK to the September 2023 REBGV statistics.

Continued slowing sales and a healthy rise in new listings in September has brought the Fraser Valley housing market into balance. Three months of declining sales has seen Benchmark prices dip for a second straight month. 

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board recorded 1,100 sales on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in September 2023, a decrease of 13.6 percent compared to August. Sales were up 22.6 percent compared to September 2022. 

New listings rose to 2,860 in September, an increase of 9.1 percent over last month, and 25.8 percent above this time last year. Active listings have been rising since last December and grew again in September by 3.8 percent to 6,532, 3.5 percent below the ten-year average. 

“With inventory levels continuing on a slow and steady rise, together with slow sales, what we are seeing is a more balanced market,” said Narinder Bains, Chair of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. “If this trend continues, increased new listings will help to maintain a balanced market, giving buyers greater choice.”
LINK to the September 2023 FVREB statistics.


Last month, there were 266 sales of single-family homes in the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) area, an 11 percent increase from one year ago (239) and down by 18 percent from August 2023 (324). Sales of condo apartments in September came in at 85, increasing by 63 percent year over year and the same number as in August. In the row/townhouse category, 71 units changed hands last month, up 48 percent from one year ago and down eight percent from August. 

Active listings of single-family homes were 1,173 in September, down from 1,417 one year ago. VIREB’s inventory of condo apartments was 305 last month, down from 332 listings in September 2022. There were 239 row/townhouses for sale last month compared to 295 one year ago. 

September looked like a relatively typical fall market but was somewhat slower than expected, so higher interest rates could be catching up with us,” says Kelly O’Dwyer, 2023 Chair. “Potential buyers seem to be holding out for more favourable rates and conditions.” 

O’Dwyer feels that the sellers’ market VIREB experienced for the past few years has transitioned to a balanced market and appears to be moving to one that favours buyers. Sellers should consider adjusting their expectations if they hope to sell their home in a reasonable amount of time.
LINK to the September 2023 VIREB statistics.