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BC’s housing market was balanced in October, as demand was subdued and listings remained elevated, a monthly update from the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) suggests.

Throughout the province last month 6,405 homes changed hands, a year-over-year decline of 26.2 percent. Meantime, the average sale price in October across the 11 real estate boards BCREA works with was $690,161, an annual drop of 26.2 percent.

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“The BC housing market continued to grapple with tougher mortgage qualifications in October,” explains Cameron Muir, chief economist at BCREA, in a news release. “However, more moderate consumer demand has led to a much-needed increase in the supply of homes for sale,” he adds.

In fact, by the end of October, there were 36,195 residential units listed for sale in BC, up roughly 30 per cent from a year earlier.

The year-over-year rise in supply was most pronounced in Chilliwack, where listings surged 62.8 percent, followed by Fraser Valley, which saw listings surge 53.1 percent.

Inventory in Fraser Valley recently caught the attention of Steve Saretsky, a Vancouver realtor and founder of Vancity Condo Guide. In a Vancity Condo Guide blog post this month he notes condo listings have leapt 153 percent over year-ago levels.

There may be signs of relief ahead, and already BCREA says “balanced conditions prevail in the BC housing market.”

In a separate forecast published this month, BCREA anticipates the provincial market will show signs of recovery next year, with 2019 activity projected to exceed this year’s estimated total of 80,000 transactions by 12 percent.

“Despite the drag from mortgage policy, strong performance of the BC economy continues to be highly supportive of housing demand,” the BCREA 2018 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast reads.

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