B.C. home sales continue to decline: real estate association

Impacts of mortgage stress tests are still being felt

Home sales are continuing their downward slide this year, according to numbers released by the B.C. Real Estate Association Thursday.

The figures show that residential sales were down by 33 per cent this September, compared to the same month last year.

The biggest drop was seen in the South Okanagan with a 49 per cent drop and Greater Vancouver with a 43 per cent drop.

The total value of all homes sold was also down by 34 per cent.

READ MORE: Move over millennials: Generation Z is coming for your real estate

The association said that the continued downtrend was a consequence of the new mortgage stress test.

“B.C. home sales continue at a slower pace compared to last year,” said chief economist Cameron Muir.

“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 B.C’.s economy over the last five years.”

The mortgage qualification stress test was introduced in January and requires all mortgage applicants qualify for a mortgage at a higher rate than they will actually pay. The idea is to ensure the new home buyer can pay in anticipation of rising interest rates.

Across B.C., home prices were down by 1.1 per cent compared to September last year.

The biggest drop was seen in the South Okanagan, where home prices dropped by 14.5 per cent.

Most regions of the province saw a moderate increase but Vancouver Island home values went up by 11.4 per cent and Powell River shot up by 19 per cent.

Greater Vancouver homes remained the most expensive at an average price of $1,029,401,

The cheapest homes in B.C. were in the north, with an average value of $262,345.


@katslepian

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