Plummeting Real Estate Inventory Levels in 2016

September 13, 2016 Market Conditions

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) area is currently experiencing historically low inventory levels for single-family homes.

Based on annual comparative statistics, inventory levels for single-family homes have decreased by 38%, with 1,394 available properties in August 2016. When measured against July 2016’s inventory levels of 1,577 available listings, August 2016 still displays a tightening on housing supply.

Across the pond, a moderate cooling effect has taken hold in Vancouver’s housing market. However, this trend has not made its way to Vancouver Island. Cameron Muir, British Columbia Real Estate Association’s (BCREA) Chief Economist, explains, “Sales are beginning to normalize in the Vancouver marketplace, but we don’t anticipate a significant correction anytime soon.” Muir continues, “The typical moderating trend seen after months of hectic activity might have been accelerated slightly by the Foreign Buyer Tax, but we just don’t know yet. We can predict many things, but not the psychology of consumers.”

In the meantime, British Columbia continues to have the strongest economy in the country, with a GDP growth rate of 3.5%.

Right now, sellers are in a strong position within the housing market. 2016 VIREB President Margo Hoffman highlights, “With the number of single-family homes for sale dropping to 1,394 last month, a historic low, it’s clear that home sellers are in the driver’s seat,” Hoffman astutely summarizes, “But sellers’ markets don’t last forever, so if you’re thinking of selling your home, now is the time.”