01/03/2019 15:06 EST | Updated 01/03/2019 15:06 EST

Vancouver Real Estate Just Had Its Worst Year Since 2000

And now the market is headed for an oversupply of new homes.

agcuesta via Getty Images
Condo and apartment towers in Vancouver's West End are seen from a marina. The city's housing market has recorded its slowest year since 2000.

The data for Vancouver's housing market in 2018 is in and it's not pretty. What's more, the industry is warning things could still get worse as the city faces a looming oversupply of new housing.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reported Thursday that home sales in the region totalled 24,619, down 31.6 per cent from 2017. It was the lowest volume of annual home sales the area saw since 2000, when Greater Vancouver's population was about 20 per cent smaller than it is today.

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The numbers for December looked even worse, with sales down 46.8 per cent from the same month a year earlier. The benchmark price for a detached home was $1.479 million, down 7.8 per cent in a year.

Condo prices started to fall mid-year, and are down 6.4 per cent since June, to an average of $664,100.

The REBGV is warning of a potential oversupply of housing coming onto Vancouver's market, just as buyer interest dries up. Market analysts have recently flagged this as a potential problem on the horizon for British Columbia's economy.

Earlier on HuffPost Canada:

"We've had record building activity in recent years and many projects will complete soon," REBGV president Phil Moore said in a statement. "This will provide additional housing options for home buyers across the region."

Vancouver buyers already have plenty of options, with the region now solidly a "buyer's market." The sales-to-active listings ratio, which measures homes sold as a percentage of homes on the market, has fallen to 10.4 per cent. A year ago, it was 29 per cent.

Anything below 12 per cent suggests falling prices ahead, REBGV says.

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