Identical to September, the Greater Vancouver housing market notched a 46% year-over-year increase in sales activity for the month of October. This markets four consecutive increases in sales volumes on an annualized basis. On the surface, the numbers look good and most would conclude the recovery is on and it’s onwards and upwards from here. However, the fundamentals behind those numbers suggest cautious optimism is warranted. We still have not solved affordability issues, and given the high levels of household indebtedness it remains uncertain how locals will be able to drive prices much higher, barring an easing in credit standards or another inflow of foreign capital. Rather, the recent uptick in housing activity appears more attributable to a number of local buyers stepping off the sidelines thanks in part to lower mortgage rates and home prices. The recent increase in sales has put a stop to rising inventory levels and thus, has also stemmed prices from falling further. We went from record low sales earlier this year to October sales finishing 10% above the ten year average. In other words, there’s still a lot of volatility and uncertainty in the market today. Let’s dive in.