Photo: Nathan Shurr/Unsplash

Vancouver has been a housing market of peaks and valleys in recent years, but this summer has seen real estate conditions even out.

Home sales activity in Metro Vancouver was beginning to approach a “normal” pace as the summer months wore on, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver suggests.

“Home sales returned to more historically normal levels in July and August compared to what we saw in the first six months of the year,” says Ashley Smith, REBGV’s president, in a statement announcing the release of August home-sales data for the region.

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The 2,231 homes that changed hands in Metro Vancouver last month represent a 15.7-percent increase compared to August 2018 — but they remained 9.2 percent off the 10-year average for the month.

Detached-home sales soared 24.5 percent over year-ago lows, but local realtor Steve Saretsky points to the historical norm here as well.

“That [home sales increase] makes for a great headline and if you didn’t have any context you would assume the detached market was booming,” Saretsky writes in a blog post, noting detached sales were a whopping 21 percent shy of the 10-year August average.

Condo-apartment sales in August climbed a more modest 8.9 percent annually.

Although the number of homes available for purchase last month remained up annually in August — there were 13,396 listings active last month, a year-over-year increase of 13.3 percent — inventory has been trending to lower levels of late. Active listings in August were down 5.9 percent from July.

“With more demand from home buyers, the supply of homes listed for sale isn’t accumulating like earlier in the year. These changes are creating more balanced market conditions,” says Smith.

For a third-straight month, the benchmark price of a Metro Vancouver home remained below the $1-million mark, registering at $993,300 in August.

That’s down 8.3 percent from a year ago and 0.2 percent versus the previous month.

The benchmark price of detached houses plunged 9.8 percent annually to $1,406,700 in August. Meantime, the condo-apartment benchmark price was $654,000, a decline of 7.4 percent.

However, on a month-over-month basis, prices for the two property-type segments diverged, with detached home prices down 0.7 percent and condo prices up 0.1 percent.

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