Home sales activity in British Columbia continued to taper off in February, with both home prices and sales volume seeing corresponding dips as consumer demand levelled off.
According to the British Columbia Real Estate Association’s (BCREA) data release published today, February saw home sales across the province drop by 31.7 per cent compared to February 2016, with 6,580 residential units sold.
The decline in market activity over the first two months of 2017 reflects a return to a more typical level of consumer demand, says BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir.
“While the home sales have declined nearly 32 per cent from the extraordinary performance of a year ago, last month’s activity reflected the average for the month February since the year 2000,” says Muir.
In February, the Greater Vancouver Area contributed fewer home sales to BC’s total home sales year-over year, declining to 37 per cent of the province’s total sales, compared to 44 per cent in February 2016.
This downturn greatly affected the province’s average MLS residential price last month which at $688,117, saw a 11.7 per cent drop from the same period last year.
BC’s total sales volume last month decreased 39.7 per cent to $4.53 billion, compared to February 2016.
The decrease in BC’s February home sales contributed to the year-over-year 2.6 per cent drop in national sales last month, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) release also published today.
A year ago, BC’s Lower Mainland saw extremely elevated sales activity which in turn spiked the national average.
Last month, the actual national average price for homes sold was $519,521, a 3.5 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.
Sales activity in the nation’s hottest markets, Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, continues to pull Canada’s average home price upwards, but Greater Vancouver’s share of national home sales significantly declined over the past year, according to CREA.
If Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto were removed from the mix, the national average sales price would be reduced almost $150,000 to $369,728, says CREA.
Meanwhile, CREA notes Greater Vancouver’s new listings also saw a significant decline compared to January levels, with almost a 25 per cent drop — the lowest level since 2001.