The new 15% foreign buyer tax was a major driver behind a sharp drop in the value of home sales across Greater Vancouver in August, according to Cameron Muir, chief economist at the British Columbia Real Estate Association.
The total value of home sales in the month was $2.128 billion, compared with $3.090 billion in the same period last year – a drop of 31.1%. The number of units sold fell 25.6%, with 2,554 homes sold in August. In August last year, 3,431 homes changed hands.
The average selling price fell 7.5% in the 12 months to August, from $900,592 last year to $833,065.
The story was not the same across the province, however. Throughout B.C., the total value of home sales fell 6.7% to $5.093 billion. This drop was entirely due to a decrease in the average home price, which dipped 8.1% to $569,393 from $619,881 last year, as the number of units sold actually increased 1.5%.
“Strong housing demand across most regions of the province offset slowing home sales in Vancouver last month,” Cameron said.
He said the drop in the average home price was due to a change in both the composition and location of homes sold in the province.
“Fewer sales of high-priced detached homes relative to all other homes sales in Vancouver as well as fewer Vancouver home sales relative to the rest of the province has caused the average price statistic to decline.”