For the second month in a row, prices for all housing types in Vancouver have fallen as home sales remain far below year-ago levels.
In August, a total of 1,929 homes changed hands across Greater Vancouver, down 36.6 per cent from the same time last year, according to the latest monthly numbers from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).
With fewer buyers in the market, prices have started taking a hit in all segments now, whereas as recently as June, condo and townhouse prices had remained up slightly from the previous month.
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“Home buyers have been less active in recent months,” notes Phil Moore, REBGV’s president, in a statement.
The benchmark price of a Greater Vancouver home, including all three main housing types, was $1,083,400. The benchmark has fallen 1.9 per cent since May, according to REBGV.
And although the benchmark price is 4.1 per cent higher than it was a year ago, BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic points out it has been some time since year-over-year growth was so tame.
“That’s the slowest pace since early 2014, and both detached and condo prices appear to be drifting down on a month-over-month basis,” Kavcic writes in a response to the data.
In fact, the benchmark price of a Greater Vancouver detached home in August was $1,561,000, down 1.5 per cent from July. Meantime, the condo benchmark of $695,500 fell 1.4 per cent compared to the previous month.
So while Toronto’s market seems to be firming up as it shakes off the effects of new mortgage rules, Vancouver’s market is faced with another headwind, Kavcic suggests.
“The picture is quite a bit weaker in Vancouver,” he writes, a trend he says is “the fallout from more aggressive tax measures continues.”
Following the tightening of federal lending regulations which included more stringent stress-testing for mortgage applications, BC recently hiked and expanded its foreign-homebuyer tax for Metro Vancouver to 20 per cent in February, up from the 15 per cent levy that was implemented in August 2016.
Ontario’s foreign-homebuyer tax for Toronto and surrounding areas remains at 15 per cent.