Greater Vancouver recorded a total of 28,903 residential home sales in 2022, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) and its year-end data. This is a 34.3% decrease from the 43,999 sales the region saw in 2021.

Some of that can be chalked up to record-high activity during the pandemic -- but not all of it. Even considering the market frenzy of the past two years, 2022 still found itself 13.4% below the 10-year average.

The amount of total listings has followed a similar trajectory.

In 2022, home listings in Metro Vancouver reached 53,865, a 13.5% decrease from the 62,265 listed in 2021, and 3.2% below the 10-year average.

"The headline story in our market in 2022 was all about inflation and the Bank of Canada’s efforts to bring inflation back to target by rapidly raising the policy rate," said Andrew Lis, Director of Economics and Data Analytics for the REBGV. "After seeing record sales and prices during the pandemic, Metro Vancouver's housing market experienced a year of caution in 2022 due to rising borrowing costs fueled by the Bank of Canada’s ongoing battle with inflation."

READ: BoC "Resolute" in Returning Inflation to 2%, Says Macklem in Year-End Speech

In terms of prices, the composite benchmark price for all residential properties -- single-detached, townhouses, condominiums -- in Metro Vancouver is now at $1,114,300, a 3.3% decrease compared to December 2021, and a 9.8% decrease over the past six months.

Zooming in on a month-to-month basis, home sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 1,295 in December, a 19.8% decrease compared to the 1,614 sold in November. It's reasonable to see a decrease at the end of the year as a result of activity slowing down as the holidays near, but last month's total was 37.7% below the 10-year average for the month of December as well. (And a 51.8% decrease from the pandemic heights of December 2021.)

Where is the Market Heading?

After such a tumultuous year, which way is the market leaning heading into 2023?

A good quantitative indicator of whether the market is leaning towards buyers or sellers is the sales-to-active-listings ratio. The REBGV defines a ratio over 20% as a sellers' market and a ratio under 12% as a buyers' market, with anything between an indication of a balanced market.

With 1,295 sales and a total of 7,384 homes currently listed, the ratio for December 2022 is 17.5%, almost no shift compared to last month's 17.6%, indicating balance and, perhaps, some brief stability.

However, that balance doesn't last long when tested across different property types, where single-detached homes and condominiums are inching in opposite directions. After a ratio of 13.2% last month, the ratio for single-detached homes is now 12.3%, indicating a move toward a buyers' market. Meanwhile, the ratio for condominiums is now 21.7%, up slightly from November, an indication that condos continue to move toward sellers' market territory.

Greater vancouver home sales december 2022(Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver)

New Year, New Rate?

Interest rates dominated real estate conversations in 2022, but unfortunately that may not be something we can leave in the past.

"While the consensus among many economists and forecasters suggests the Bank of Canada may be near the end of this tightening cycle, rates may remain elevated for longer than previously expected since the latest inflation figures aren’t showing signs of abating quickly," Lis said. "This is a story we expect to continue to make headlines into 2023, as inflationary pressures remain persistent across Canada."

In other words: it may be a new year, but -- at least for now -- it may be the same old story.

Real Estate News