Over at vancouvercondo.info is a constant stream of listings and sales data from commenters for the Greater Vancouver area. The listings growth is robust, as is the level of sales. We are on track to bust records for April listings and sales in recent memory. What will happen to prices, specifically the benchmark and house price index?
According to mohican's months of inventory to price change correlation analysis, the benchmark price will not start substantially falling until sales slow or active listings continue to increase at breakneck speed. Below is the half-over-half prices changes and 3 month moving average of months of inventory (i.e. active listings at month-end divided by sales from the month) on a time and scatter plot. (I extrapolated expected April MOI on the time plot.) This series provides the best correlation of the data. I've also included the scatter plot on semilog which allows the low MOI data to be better resolved.
Although not immediately obvious from the graphs, assuming the rate of sales does slow, a meaningful price drop from current levels is unlikely to materialize until sometime in the summer. If sales remain robust it is unlikely prices will drop unless active listings significantly increase. It's worth asking who is selling, or trying to sell. That listings are increasing fast may be a harbinger for lower sales going forward.
Given there appears to be an integral component to listings growth, it is unlikely listings growth will slow until sometime in the summer. Hat tip to PaulB for the hourly numbers. This one's for you and the inventory junkies. Subliminal message at 1:05.