Photo: Ruth Hartnup/Flickr
The latest Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) data is in, and it shows that Metro Vancouver home sales saw another precipitous year-over-year drop in November. In total, 2,214 homes were sold during the month, down 37.2 per cent from November 2015 and 7.6 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.
Home sales in Metro Vancouver have been falling since July, and many believe the region’s foreign-buyer tax is largely responsible. It was put in place on August 2nd, and since then has drastically reduced the number of residential real estate transactions involving foreign buyers — in October, only 3 per cent of deals in the area involved foreign buyers.
Even so, REBGV President Dan Morrison has said in the past that market conditions were changing before the tax took effect. In a press release accompanying last month’s data, he simply said that although it’s been “anything but a normal year for the Metro Vancouver housing market, supply and demand totals have returned to more historically normal levels over the last few months.”
Detached home sales were particularly low last month, coming in at 638 units. That’s a fall of 52.2 per cent from the year-ago period. By comparison, attached home sales fell 40.9 per cent year-over-year, while apartment sales sunk 22.7 per cent.
“Demand, relative to supply, for detached homes is lower right now than demand for townhomes and apartments,” explained Morrison in the release, adding, “[t]his is causing prices to remain stable, or flat, for townhomes and apartments, while detached homes are seeing modest month-over-month declines.”
Prices for all home types remain high despite the fact that sales are on the decline. While the MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all homes in Metro Vancouver sank 1.2 per cent from October to November, coming in at $908,300, that’s still up 20.5 per cent from November 2015.
Many market watchers expect Metro Vancouver home prices to cool in 2017, but for now the sales-to-active-listings ratio seems to indicate otherwise. It rose 2 per cent in November to reach 26.4 per cent — home prices tend to experience upward pressure when the ratio is over 20 per cent for several months at a time.