Death of the Single Family House in Metro Vancouver?

Steve Saretsky -

Just a few days ago I wrote a piece noting that Vancouver housing starts hit a record high in 2019. Per CMHC, there was a whopping 28,141 new housing starts across Metro Vancouver, surpassing the previous record set in 2016. In fact, housing starts could’ve been much higher had it not been for single family housing starts, which fell to a seven year low.

Vancouver single family housing starts
Metro Vancouver single family housing starts by year.

To be honest, i’m surprised they haven’t fallen further. The single family market has been hit hard, taking the brunt of the recent market decline. Single family house sales have plunged to multi-decade lows over the past couple of years. Here’s a chart of annual house sales across Greater Vancouver & the Fraser Valley.

single family house sales
single family house sales by year for Greater Vancouver & Fraser Valley combined.

Are we witnessing the death of the single family house in Metro Vancouver? Despite the decline in house prices, falling as much as 30-40% in some segments, the median house price still sits at $1,154,500. With affordability remaining stretched, it’s hard to envision where the next wave of buyers will come from. Instead, it seems more likely single family housing starts will remain lackluster.

Join the Monday Newsletter

Every Monday morning you'll receive a short and entertaining round-up of news on the Vancouver & Canadian Real Estate markets.

"*" indicates required fields

The Canadian Economy

Steve Saretsky -

Happy Monday Morning! We got a string of new data this past week confirming inflation in consumer goods, and housing are proving to be more than transitory. Canada’s consumer price index continued to drift higher with prices hitting an 18 year high, up 4.7% from last October. The recent floods in BC...

Steve Saretsky -

The calls for impending interest rate hikes continues. CIBC’s chief economist, Benjamin Tal, was out recently suggesting the Bank of Canada could hike its benchmark interest rate at least six times beginning in early 2022. “I think there is a risk of getting into the market at today’s rates,” noted Tal....

Steve Saretsky -

The BC Government announced it is looking at several cooling measures for the housing market in 2022. They have highlighted two measures. The first is an end to the blind bidding process, and the other is a mandatory “cooling off period” which will allow any buyer a 7 day recession...

Steve Saretsky -

The Bank of Canada continues to slowly drain liquidity after flooding the system with a firehose of cash during the pandemic. Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem announced the end of Canada’s QE program (also known as money printing). Furthermore, in Macklems words, “We expect to begin increasing our policy...

Steve Saretsky -

Consumer price inflation ripped higher in September, surging 4.4% year-over-year, the fastest pace of price increases in 18 years. Let’s discuss this further. We have an inflation problem and the Bank of Canada remains of the view that inflation will be transitory. Although they really can’t say otherwise, for if...

Get the Saretsky Report to your email every month

The Saretsky Report. December 2022