Photo: Lucas Gomes/Flickr
Last month brought another massive fall in Metro Vancouver home sales, new data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) shows. In total, just 2,233 homes were sold in the area in October — that’s a 38.8 per cent drop year-over-year, and 15 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.
At this point, Metro Vancouver home sales have seen huge year-over-year declines for several months in a row, and many believe the region’s new foreign-buyer tax is responsible. Put in place on August 2nd, it has already significantly lowered the number of residential real estate transactions involving foreign buyers.
However, in a press release accompanying the new REBGV data, President Dan Morrison emphasizes that the tax is not the only factor helping to reduce home sales in Metro Vancouver. He believes market conditions were changing before the tax came into effect, and points out that it’s not the only government intervention affecting the market.
“Potential buyers and sellers are taking a wait-and-see approach to try and better understand what these changes mean for them,” he says.
But while home sales continue to fall steeply, the same can’t be said for prices. Indeed, the MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all homes in Metro Vancouver is currently sitting at $919,300. Though that’s down 0.8 per cent from September, it’s still up 24.8 per cent from the same time last year.
The benchmark detached home price saw the largest increase, rising 28.9 per cent year-over-year to reach $1,545,800. Similarly, the benchmark attached home price increased 25.7 per cent to hit $669,200, while the benchmark apartment price came in at $512,300 after rising 20.5 per cent.
Some market watchers are calling for Metro Vancouver home prices to cool slowly heading into 2017, but for now the sales-to-active-listings ratio for the region remains fairly high at 24.4 per cent. Home prices tend to experience upward pressure when the ratio is over 20 per cent for several months at a time.