Vancouver home sales hit 19-year low as price decline continues – The Globe and Mail

Vancouver home sales hit 19-year low as price decline continues - The Globe and Mail
Metro Vancouver home sales up modestly in May: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, June, 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER — Home sales in Metro Vancouver showed some bounce in May, but the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board says sales remain below historical averages.

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 board says 2,638 homes changed hands in May — the first time this year that sales jumped above 2,000 properties in a month.

Its a 44.2 per cent rise over the 1,829 homes sold one month earlier, but a 6.9 per cent fall from the 2,833 homes sold in May 2018.

Sales in May remained nearly 23 per cent below the 10-year May sales average and the lowest for May since 2000.

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 number of listed homes across Metro Vancouver also edged upward 2.3 per cent between April and May, to 14,685, marking the highest number of properties for sale in the region since September 2014.

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.

Real estate board data shows the ratio of sales to active listings averaged 18 per cent for all property types last month. The ratio dropped to just over 14 per cent for detached homes and remained at, or just above, 20 per cent for townhomes and apartments.

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.

Generally, analysts expect prices to drop when the ratio falls below 12 per cent, while a sustained ratio above 20 per cent can push prices up.

The composite benchmark price for all residential homes in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,006,400, an 8.9 per cent tumble in one year, a 3.4 per cent skid over the last six months and a 0.4 per cent slip since April.

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Ashley Smith, the boards president blames government policies for continuing sluggish housing sales.

"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," Smith says in a statement.

The benchmark price for condominiums is $664,200, a 7.3 per cent decrease over the same period and a slip of two per cent in six months.

Detached home sales dropped 1.4 per cent since May 2018, while the $1,421,900 benchmark price is 11.5 per cent lower since then and marks a 5.4 per cent decrease in six months.

The composite benchmark price for all residential homes in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,006,400, an 8.9 per cent tumble in one year, a 3.4 per cent skid over the last six months and a 0.4 per cent slip since April.

Only attached homes showed a modest 0.6 per cent sales increase over 12 months and prices climbed marginally over the last months. But overall, the real estate board says the $779,400 benchmark price is down 7.6 per cent from May 2018.

The number of listed homes across Metro Vancouver also edged upward 2.3 per cent between April and May, to 14,685, marking the highest number of properties for sale in the region since September 2014.

The real estate board covers 15 cities, municipalities and regions across Metro Vancouver, from Vancouver to Whistler, the Sunshine Coast, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Richmond and South Delta.

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.

Detached home sales dropped 1.4 per cent since May 2018, while the $1,421,900 benchmark price is 11.5 per cent lower since then and marks a 5.4 per cent decrease in six months.

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.

VANCOUVER — Home sales in Metro Vancouver showed some bounce in May, but the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board says sales remain below historical averages.

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.

“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.