Home sellers seem to have fled the market as a collective instinct.

This occurs in the face of less intense demand and fewer buyers willing to enter into bidding wars and offer excessive prices.

Sellers are backing off to wait for more auspicious times to list their properties.

“Where have all the salespeople gone?” Dexter Realty asks.

The Vancouver real estate company used the same question to headline its mid-month report, which it released on Friday (July 16).

“With this trend likely to continue, we could see total active listings drop below 10,000 to start in September for only the second time in the past 25 years,” states the report prepared by Kevin Skipworth.

Skipworth is a partner, stockbroker and chief economist at Dexter Realty.

The report noted that from July 1 to July 15, real estate agents from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) sold 1,692 properties.

Meanwhile, only 2,491 new listings of homes for sale hit the market during the same period.

“That number of new listings is a stark contrast to where we were in mid-June,” Skipworth wrote.

The real estate executive said that as of June 15, 2,028 properties and 3,405 new listings were sold.

“So while sales were only down 17% compared to the midpoint last month, new listings were down 27%, leading to a decrease in the number of active listings in the market,” Skipworth noted.

Additionally, in mid-May 2021, 2,183 properties were sold and 3,758 new listings went on the market.

Total active listings as of July 15 is 10,958 compared to 12,458 on July 15, 2020.

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In addition, the report noted that there were 11,659 of the total active listings as of mid-June 2021.

Real estate associations have also pointed to the drop in home listings.

In a report on July 12, 2021, the BC Real Estate Association stated that total active residential listings decreased 23.4 percent year-on-year in June.

The BCREA report by chief economist Brendon Ogmundson also noted that prices have “continued to decline on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis.”

Meanwhile, the REBGV reported on July 5 that there were 5,849 detached, attached and apartment properties recently listed for sale in June 2021.

The board said the number of new listings represents a 17.9 percent decrease compared to May 2021, when 7,125 homes were included.

Additionally, the total number of homes for sale was 10,839, a decrease of 5.1 percent compared to June 2020 (11,424) and a decrease of 1.2 percent compared to May 2021 (10,970).

Also on July 5, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) reported that it received 3,108 new listings in the month of June.

The new listings represent a 10 percent decrease compared to last year and a 21 percent decrease compared to May 2021.

The FVREB noted that June 2021 ended with a total active inventory of 5,474, a seven percent decrease compared to May and 22.5 percent less than in June 2020.

Turning to the Dexter Realty report, Skipworth wrote that while sales have declined again in July, “the biggest decline is in the number of new listings entering the market.”

“This is depleting an already low active listing count in Metro Vancouver and maintaining competition among buyers,” the report said.

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Also, “there are still buyers looking to take advantage of continued low interest rates.”

“All things considered, there is still strong activity in the real estate market, but that could be hampered by a lack of listings as we move forward over the next month and a half,” the report states.


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