Housing Monitor Dashboard
The dashboard was last updated on September 26, 2023.
The BCREA Economics team has created the Housing Monitor Dashboard to help REALTORS® monitor BC’s housing market. This dashboard provides up-to-date data on key variables for public education and use. The image and data are available for download under each chart, where possible.
Resale Home Market
The resale home market uses data from the MLS® system used by BC REALTORS®.
Active Listings are the number of listings available for sale on the MLS® system as of the end of each month.
New Listings are the number of newly listed properties on the MLS® system during a particular month.
Home Sales are the number of units sold on the MLS® system during a particular month.
The Average Sale Price is the average price for all homes sold on the MLS® system during a particular month. In other words, this number is equivalent to the total dollar value of all sales (the sales volume) divided by the number of transactions. This number will change if the price of homes changes, but also if the composition of home sales changes—for instance, if buyers shift towards apartments rather than single-family homes, the Average Sale Price will fall (if all else remains the same).
The Home Price Index (HPI) is an indicator published by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) to estimate an adjusted price for a typical home in a region. Given that the Average Sale Price is vulnerable to shifts in the composition of sales, the HPI adjusts for this by estimating the price of a fixed ‘composite’ unit across time. This removes composition biases and provides a smoother estimate of the price in a region across time.
The Sales to Active Listings Ratio (SALR) measures the tightness of a market. It is estimated by dividing the number of sales by the number of active listings. While the typical SALR varies by market, for BC at large, the housing market is considered balanced if the SALR is between roughly 0.15 and 0.25. If the ratio is above this range, the market is in seller’s territory, and if it is below this range, it is in buyer’s territory.
Home construction, as measured by starts, units under construction, and completions, are crucial variables for the overall housing market. As new homes are added to the provincial housing stock and eventually become part of the resale market, construction data is essential for REALTORS®. Construction is also the primary way that new supply is introduced into the housing market, which in the long run is the only way to keep prices stable and maintain affordability.
A Housing Start is the stage when the concrete has been poured for the whole of the footing around the structure or an equivalent stage where a basement will not be part of the structure. A unit is under construction after the start but prior to completion. The number of units under construction exceeds the number of starts and completions since units remain under construction for a duration before completion.
Months to complete property in BC have been trending up in recent years. BC also has longer average months to complete than most other provinces in Canada.
The figure below measures the average asking rents of vacant properties on Rentals.ca. These rents will be higher than the average rents paid by renters since landlords raise rents for new renters, and long-time tenants tend to pay less. The figure below shows rents for 1- and 2-bedroom units in Vancouver and Victoria.
Mortgage rates are one of the most important drivers of housing activity in BC. Changes in mortgage rates and mortgage qualifying costs can cause significant changes in housing market trends. The chart below provides up-to-date data on average fixed and variable mortgage rates available in the Canadian mortgage market.
Other BCREA Data
The Nowcast is BCREA’s estimate of GDP in BC. The growth of provincial GDP is a key indicator of economic activity, but provincial GDP data is only available annually and with a considerable delay. That's why we developed the BCREA Nowcast – a tool to track monthly growth in the BC Economy. The Nowcast compiles monthly economic data into one easy-to-understand number, expressed as the year-over-year growth in the BC economy.
As the underlying economic data is released with a one- or two-month lag, our estimates for monthly growth will also lag in real-time by two months (e.g., estimated growth in January will be published at the end of March). There are no adjustments to the model estimate except those due to revisions to the underlying data.
The BCREA Commercial Leading Indicator was designed to forecast broad commercial real estate activity changes. Our research shows that the CLI variables reliably predict BC commercial real estate activity at a lag of two to four quarters. The index is revised each quarter due to revisions to the underlying data.
The in-migration map shows the top 20 sources of migration into British Columbian cities. This allows us to understand where new housing demand may come from.
*Graphs with an asterisk have had their data normalized to a starting point. This is to provide for easier comparison across the series in the figure. For example, if the graph is normalized to January 2019, a value of 110 at a given point in time indicates that the variable is 10 per cent higher than it was in January 2019.
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