The Greenhouse
by Pine

The Vancouver Housing Market, according to CMHC

The scarcity of active listings across all property types, especially when juxtaposed with a burgeoning population, perpetuates elevated prices.

A Glimpse into Vancouver's Housing Ecosystem

In the ever-evolving landscape of Vancouver's housing market, 2023 emerges as a pivotal year, witnessing a blend of peaks and troughs, particularly in home prices which soared in the spring of 2022. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the market is anticipated to hit its lowest point this year, albeit maintaining a relatively high price level. To put it into perspective:

  • Single-detached prices, which surged by 50% at their pinnacle in 2022, are projected to conclude 2023 with a 30% elevation compared to the end of 2019.
  • Apartment prices, having escalated by 27% at their zenith in 2022, are expected to end 2023 by 15%.

Despite the apparent short-term volatility, a broader lens reveals an upward trend. Following a dip in 2023, house prices are predicted to register year-over-year augmentations in 2024 and 2025. The scarcity of active listings across all property types, especially when juxtaposed with a burgeoning population, perpetuates elevated prices. Patient sellers, undeterred by transient market fluctuations, are likely to await price resurgence before listing.

The Apartment Segment: A Beacon for Budget-Constrained Buyers

According to data from their spring Housing Market Outlook, buyers, especially those constrained by budget, are expected to predominantly target the apartment market, causing a dip in average prices in 2023. The CMHC suggests that the trajectory of prices may oscillate within the forecast range, dependent on the recovery speed in single-detached sales and potential fluctuations in interest rates. As 2023 unfolds, CMHC projections indicate that single-detached sales will plummet to less than half of pre-COVID levels, while apartment sales are expected to descend to approximately 75% of pre-COVID figures, with recovery anticipated to commence in the latter half of the year. Notably, sales are not expected to revert to pre-COVID levels until post-2025.

Demographic Dynamics: Millennial Might in the Market

Vancouver, characterized by its relatively youthful populace and a substantial influx of young international migrants, is poised to witness a demographic-driven shift in the housing market. With millennials, defined here as individuals born between 1985 and 2005, progressing into their 30s and early 40s, a historical pattern of heightened homebuying activity is anticipated. However, the CMHC notes that the pathway to homeownership may be obstructed for many due to elevated mortgage rates and reduced loan qualifications. While loan sizes have reverted to 2019 figures, apartment prices linger 15% above 2019 levels, necessitating larger down payments and potentially sidelining numerous buyers in 2023. Over the forecast horizon, gradual income growth is expected to incrementally enhance buying power incrementally, culminating in ascending sales.

Construction Conundrums: The Downward Drift of Housing Starts

CMHC predictions indicate a decline in housing starts in 2023, which will subsequently impact housing availability in the long run. Beyond 2023, anticipated growth in the customer base and cost stabilization are expected to mitigate some market uncertainties, fostering the initiation of new projects. However, developers are currently grappling with a 15% year-over-year surge in construction costs as of the end of 2022 and a workforce smaller than in the pre-COVID era, introducing an element of risk and uncertainty to new projects.

The Rental Realm: Scarcity Amidst Surging Demand

Low vacancy rates are projected to persist, with a decline in first-time buyer activity creating a bottleneck in Vancouver’s housing market. Despite the influx of young migrants and a delay in homeownership transitions among aging millennials, the rental market will be compelled to accommodate a larger share of households. Although Vancouver’s purpose-built rental market is slated to deliver a record number of new units, the scale is dwarfed by the net population growth, which surpassed 80,000 people in 2022, compared to a net creation of 4,000 purpose-built rental units. Consequently, average 2-bedroom rents are anticipated to witness a significant uptick over the forecast horizon, with market rents substantially exceeding average rents, as per CMHC data.

In summary, Vancouver's housing market in 2023 is a tapestry of demographic shifts, buyer behaviours, and construction challenges, all unfolding against a backdrop of economic and policy influences. The market, while experiencing a temporary deceleration, is underscored by an inherent upward trajectory, necessitating strategic, informed navigation by potential buyers, sellers, and investors, guided by insights from the CMHC.

Property Type Analysis: A Deep Dive into Vancouver's Housing Dynamics

The Ebb and Flow of Home Prices

The Vancouver housing market has witnessed a myriad of changes, especially in the context of home prices. The benchmark price of homes in Metro Vancouver was reported to be $1,208,400 in August 2023, marking a 2.5% annual increase. However, this figure is 4.3% lower than the all-time high of $1,262,600 recorded in April 2022. Various factors, including economic shifts and regulatory interventions by entities like the Canadian Real Estate Association, have influenced the dynamics of Vancouver home prices.

Segmenting the Market: Detached, Attached, and Condo Apartments

  • Detached Homes: The average price of detached homes experienced an 18.1% YoY increase, reaching $2.35M. The benchmark prices for detached homes in Vancouver rose by 3.2% over the past year, settling at $2,018,500 in August 2023.
  • Attached Homes: The attached home segment saw a modest 0.5% YoY increase in average price, amounting to $1.23M. The benchmark price for attached homes was $1,103,900, indicating a 3.8% YoY increase.
  • Condo Apartments: Condo apartments witnessed a 1.5% YoY increase in average price, reaching $806k. The benchmark price for apartments increased by 4.4% YoY and decreased by 0.2% MoM to $770,000.

Regional Insights: A Detailed Exploration Across Vancouver's Varied Locales

Vancouver, with its multifaceted neighbourhoods, presents a rich and varied housing market, each area offering its own unique real estate dynamics. To gain a comprehensive understanding of Vancouver's housing market, it's imperative to explore a detailed analysis across various cities and regions. Below is a breakdown of some key areas within Vancouver:


  • Single-Family Homes: The benchmark price for single-family homes in Vancouver witnessed a 0.5% year-over-year increase, reaching $1,210,700 in July 2023.
  • Apartment Prices: At their peak in 2022, apartment prices had risen by 27% and are expected to conclude 2023 with a 15% increase from the end of 2019.
  • Sales Dynamics: Single-detached sales are anticipated to plummet to less than half of the pre-COVID level into 2023, while apartment sales are projected to drop to about 75% of pre-COVID levels, with a gradual recovery anticipated in the latter half of the year.

British Columbia (Provincial Overview):

  • Market Dynamics: The province of British Columbia has seen varied dynamics in the real estate market, with certain areas experiencing price surges while others observe stabilization or even a decline.
  • Mortgage Rates: The interplay of mortgage rates and buying power in British Columbia has been a critical factor influencing buyer behavior and market trends.

West Vancouver:

  • Demographic Influence: West Vancouver, with its specific demographic and economic factors, might exhibit distinct trends in home prices, sales volumes, and buyer behavior.
  • Market Trends: While specific data might require further exploration, general trends in Metro Vancouver, such as the 2.5% YoY increase in the benchmark price of homes, provide a contextual backdrop for understanding the market dynamics in West Vancouver.

Other Vancouver Regions:

Different regions within Vancouver, such as East Vancouver, North Vancouver, and the Downtown area, might display varied market trends. Influences like local policies, community developments, and infrastructure projects can shape these regional market dynamics.

Anticipations for the Vancouver Housing Market

Navigating through the Vancouver housing market reveals a path interwoven with various economic, policy, and demographic influences. As of the latest data, the average home price in Vancouver has been subject to both upward and downward pressures, reflecting a market that is both vibrant and susceptible to various internal and external factors.

First-Time Home Buyers: A Closer Look

Market Trends and Future Projections

The Vancouver housing market has navigated through a myriad of shifts due to various economic and policy-related factors.

  • The momentum of sales growth, particularly vibrant in the early part of the year, has experienced a deceleration, potentially influenced by the federal government's policy adjustments and economic interventions.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark has registered a year-over-year increase of 2.1%, while the average selling price has seen a 3.8% rise compared to the previous year, according to the economics and data analytics of the Canadian Real Estate Association.
  • Housing affordability continues to be a pivotal issue, with forthcoming policy interventions and initiatives anticipated to focus on enhancing affordability and accessibility, especially for first-time homebuyers.
  • The average price of a home in Vancouver is projected to witness a fluctuation of approximately 10% over the next year, influenced by factors like new listings, home price trends, and economic variables.
  • Amidst the oscillation of interest rates and a potential economic slowdown, a modest decline of 2.8% in average residential sales prices across Canada is anticipated in 2023.

In conclusion, while Vancouver offers a broad perspective of the housing market, understanding the nuances, especially through the lens of economics and data analytics, is crucial for stakeholders. The home price index, new listings ratio, and various other metrics provide a comprehensive view, aiding in making informed decisions in Vancouver’s real estate market. This detailed exploration into the Vancouver housing market, with a focus on key metrics and trends, aims to provide a foundational understanding for potential investors, buyers, and real estate professionals navigating through the market's complexities.

Navigating Vancouver's Housing Market

In the intricate tapestry of Vancouver's housing market, understanding the myriad of threads, from new listings to home price trends, becomes pivotal. The market, shaped by various factors like economics and data analytics, presents a scenario where strategic navigation is key. Pine, your trusted mortgage partner, stands as a beacon amidst the complexities of the real estate market, offering tailored solutions and expert guidance. 

With a deep understanding of the home price index and a finger on the pulse of Vancouver's real estate market, Pine ensures your journey, whether buying, selling, or investing, is anchored in expertise and strategic insight. In a market influenced by various elements, from federal government policies to first-time homebuyers' dynamics, aligning with Pine not only enhances your navigation through the housing landscape but also ensures a journey marked by informed decisions and strategic foresight. Let's explore the possibilities in Vancouver's real estate market, together with Pine.

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