Photo: Ruth Hartnup/Flickr
The correction sweeping through BC’s housing market showed no signs of ending last month, the latest numbers from the British Columbia Real Estate Association suggest.
In September, 5,573 homes changed hands on the resale market, representing a decline of 33.2 per cent compared to activity recorded 12 months prior.
Meantime, the average price of a home, including both condos and houses, dropped 1.1 per cent from September 2017 to $685,749.
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Vancouver, the province’s most expensive market by far at an average price of $1,029,401, saw home prices crawl up 1.6 per cent annually. South Okanagan was hardest hit, with prices falling 14.5 per cent year-over-year to an average of $361,066.
“It looks like the price decline may have more to do with a change in the mix and share of sales last month, than a sudden price decline of the typical home,” Cameron Muir, chief economist at BCREA, tells Livabl.
A higher share of condo transactions likely pulled the average price down, Muir explains.
“Since the Okanagan Mainline board, with includes Kelowna, has the average price up nearly 8 per cent, you can be reasonably confident it’s a change in the sales price distribution,” he adds.
Speaking broadly on the slowdown in provincial sales, Muir notes two hurdles facing homebuyers.
“The impact on affordability and purchasing power caused by the mortgage stress test and moderately higher interest rates are negating the effect of the extraordinarily strong performance of BC’s economy over the last five years,” Muir continues in a news release.
While falling prices have frustrated sellers and sales have trended lower, the number of homes available on the resale market has grown.
As of the end of September, the number of homes listed on the resale market had reached 30,311, an increase of 24.1 per cent from a year ago, but down slightly from the end of August, when listings totalled 30,400.