For the second month in a row, home sales in Metro Vancouver have slowed considerably, returning to more typical levels for the month.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports a total of 2,489 home sales in August 2016, which is a decline of 26 per cent compared to August 2015’s 3,362 sales. August’s numbers are also a 22.8 per cent decline month-over-month and sit 3.5 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month of August.
“The record-breaking sales we saw earlier this year were replaced by more historically normal activity throughout July and August,” said Dan Morrison, REBGV president, in a statement. “Sales have been trending downward in Metro Vancouver for a few months. The new foreign buyer tax appears to have added to this trend by reducing foreign buyer activity and causing some uncertainty amongst local home buyers and sellers. It’ll take some months before we can really understand the impact of the new tax. We’ll be interested to see the government’s next round of foreign buyer data.”
There were 4,293 new listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver in August, which is an increase of 0.3 per cent compared to the 4,281 units listed during the same period last year, and an 18.1 per cent drop compared to July 2016’s 5,241 listed properties.
The total number of properties currently listed for sale in Metro Vancouver was 8,506, a 21.9 per cent drop compared to year-ago levels (10,897), but is up 1.9 per cent compared to July 2016 (8,351).
The sales-to-active listings ratio for the month is 29.3 per cent, indicating a seller’s market. In general, downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio falls below 12 per cent, while home prices often experience upward pressure when they reach the 20 to 22 per cent range in a particular community for a prolonged period of time.
The MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price across all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $933,100, which is up 31.4 per cent compared to August 2015.
“In aggregate, we continue to see an imbalance between supply and demand in most communities. However, we’re also seeing fewer detached sales in the highest price points and fewer detached home sales relative to all residential sales,” said Morrison. “This is causing average sale prices to show a decline in recent months, while benchmark home prices remain virtually unchanged from July.”
August 2016 saw 715 sales of detached properties, which is a 44.6 per cent drop compared to the 1,290 detached sales in August 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties climbed 35.8 per cent year-over-year to $1,577,300.
In townhomes, there were 431 property sales in August 2016, a decrease of 25.4 per cent compared to the 578 sales during the same period last year. The benchmark price of an attached home increased 31.1 per cent year-over-year to $677,600.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,343 in August 2016, which is 10.1 per cent lower than the 1,494 sales in August 2015. The benchmark price of an apartment unit increased 26.9 per cent year-over-year to $514,300.