Metro Vancouver home sales up modestly in May: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver – Global News

Metro Vancouver home sales up modestly in May: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - Global News
Vancouver home sales hit 19-year low as price decline continues
There was a modest increase in home sales in Metro Vancouver during the month of May, according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

While home sales were up 44 per cent from April, they were down just under seven per cent from May 2018, and the 2,638 sales were the lowest for the month of May since 2000.

“High home prices and mortgage qualification issues caused by the federal government’s B20 stress test remain significant factors behind the reduced demand that the market is experiencing today,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said.

That is down 0.4 per cent from April and 3.4 per cent over the past six months. It is also an 8.9 per cent decrease from May 2018.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on MLS is 14,685, which is a 30 per cent increase over last May and the highest number of homes listed for sale in Metro Vancouver since September 2014 (14,832).

“High home prices and mortgage qualification issues created by the federal government’s stress test remain significant factors behind the reduced demand the market is experiencing today,” board president Ashley Smith said.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says there was a surge in sales in May, but overall the home buyer demand in Metro Vancouver remains well below historical averages.

Housing sales have dropped to a 19-year low in Greater Vancouver as the market extends a streak of declining prices.

Residential home sales in May totalled 2,638, making it the first month of 2019 to eclipsed the 2,000-sales mark and a significant increase over the 1,829 homes sold in April.

Sales volume in May fell 6.9 per cent compared with the same month in 2018, and slumped 22.9 per cent beneath the 10-year average for May, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said on Tuesday.

The MLS composite benchmark price for all residential homes in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,006,400, which represents an 8.9 per cent decrease from May 2018.

Last months 2,638 sales in the region for various housing types were the lowest for May since 2000, when only 2,059 properties changed hands in that month.

However, the REBGV says last month’s sales total was the lowest total for May since 2000 and 22.9 per cent below the 10-year May sales average.

The residential benchmark price, an industry representation of the typical home sold in an area, in Greater Vancouver has declined for 12 consecutive months, hitting $1,006,400 last month, compared with a record-high of $1,094,000 in May, 2018.

On Vancouvers west side, the benchmark price for detached houses sold has tumbled $502,900 over the past year to $2,927,600.

Greater Vancouvers condo segment began softening in mid-2018, including in the less-expensive suburbs. In Tsawwassen, for instance, the benchmark price for condos sold has fallen 8.5 per cent over the past year to $464,300.

The federal banking regulator implemented a stress test on January 1, 2018, making it tougher to qualify for mortgages.

High home prices and mortgage qualification issues caused by the federal governments B20 stress test remain significant factors behind the reduced demand that the market is experiencing today, board president Ashley Smith said in a statement on Tuesday.

The previous BC Liberal government introduced a 15-per-cent tax on foreign buyers in August, 2016. The BC NDP government raised the foreign-buyers tax to 20 per cent in February, 2018, while expanding that tax beyond the initial target of the Vancouver area.

International purchases of real estate in the Vancouver region have decreased from about 13 per cent of the total in the seven weeks before the taxs adoption to less than 3 per cent in March, 2019.

Other provincial factors include what B.C. Finance Minister Carole James calls a speculation tax, targeted primarily at out-of-province residents, and B.C. taxes aimed at higher-end properties.

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