Inventory Spike, New MLS® Statuses, Airbnb Restrictions

April experienced a significant spike in new listings at 64% above last year, far outpacing the 10-year average by 25%. What's surprising is the continued strength of demand along with the fact that some homeowners were compelled to sell in the face of the highest borrowing costs experienced in over a decade. As housing becomes more politicized and anti-capitalist, it is predominantly landlords exiting the rental business, offloading properties they can no longer cash-flow or afford to renew at higher rates. There are still only 4 months supply of homes overall in Greater Vancouver, which had fallen from 5 months in February and 6 months in January.

Detached homes and condo sales were on par in April compared to last year, while townhouse sales were up 16% year-over-year. There simply are not enough townhomes being built, and this will continue to be one of the most competitive segments of the market. According to a Q2 forecast from the British Columbia Real Estate Association, sales in the province are expected to increase 7.8% to 78,130 units.

Prices continue to climb across most segments, typically within the range of 1-2% month-over-month. The one segment that didn't see an uptick in prices in April was condos, which saw a 0.1% decline month-over-month. This moderation is likely due to a confluence of factors impacting this more affordability-sensitive segment of the market, particularly the impact of higher mortgage rates and the recent boost to inventory levels, tempering competition.

Given that there is a rental increase threshold of 3.5%, short-term rentals are now restricted to primary residences, tenancy laws are becoming increasingly anti-landlord, and new taxes are implemented, it appears to have incentivized owners to sell their homes prior to changes coming into effect as the screws continue to tighten. But if April was a bellwether month for listings, will this trend continue and translate into May sales? Will buyers wait to jump on a moving train, or take advantage of a market that has finally presented options.

Statistics Canada reported that one in five BC homeowners born in the 1990s co-own with their parents. The highest rates correspond with the highest housing prices, including Vancouver, Victoria, and several cities in Ontario. It's no wonder buyers need to tap into the Bank of Mom and Dad when prices are unaffordable and there is continued hesitation by the Bank of Canada pushing rate cuts further out. Pent-up demand can only wait so long. 

Starting August 1, 2024, after a dozen-year hiatus, the Federal Government will allow 30-year amortizations on insured mortgages for first-time homebuyers. It comes with strings attached, as it only applies to the purchase of newly-built homes. The extended amortization results in a qualification of 5% more home or a reduction in 5% of income. An estimated 15% of new mortgages in Canada are insured, and while it's possible to get an insured mortgage with a new build, it's rare, as developers often require a minimum down payment of 20%, which limits accessibility.

New Airbnb rules in effect 

Last year, the Province of British Columbia introduced regulations for short-term rentals, which took effect on May 1st. These measures, designed to free up more housing inventory for purchase or rental, could be contributing to the recent surge in market listings. Under these regulations, platforms like Airbnb and VRBO are required to remove unlicensed listings, facing fines if non-compliant. Violations of B.C.'s regulations could result in penalties reaching up to $10,000 per day.

The new rules are aimed at reining in the growing short-term rental market that is taking homes off the market. Analysis from short-term rental data analytics company AirDNA, from March 2024, shows that more than 19,000 entire homes in B.C. are being listed as short-term rentals for the majority of a calendar year. Data from a McGill University professor about short-term rentals in B.C. also shows in June 2023 that the top 10% of hosts earned nearly half of all revenue. 

Change in MLS® statuses to increase transparency

Starting in June 2024, listings on the MLS® will include new sale statuses to help Realtors, home buyers and sellers get a better sense of how far along it is in the lifecycle of a transaction.

Active Under Contract: This optional status will be used when a listing has an accepted offer with subjects on it. It requires the seller's permission, which can be added on the Schedule A in the contract.
Pending: Replacing the current "Sold" status, this status will be applied to listings that have an accepted subject-free offer, or once all subjects are removed.
Closed: Listings will automatically move to this status at the end of their completion date.
Expired: Sometimes sales collapse after an accepted offer. If it collapses before the listing’s expiry date, the status will move back to "Active". If it’s after the expiry date, the status will move to the "Expired" status.

Along with the new sale statuses, they will be including more recent sold prices for listings on public-facing listing websites like After the starting date in late May to early June, all listings with the new Closed status will automatically show their sale price.
New MLS® sale statuses
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