Metro Vancouver home sales continue to plunge in September

This is the first time in more than two years sales have fallen below 10-year average

Home sales across Metro Vancouver fell 32.6% year-over-year in September and 9.5% compared with August, according to Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver statistics released October 4.

A total of 2,253 sales were recorded across the region in the month, which is 9.6% below the 10-year sales average for September. This is the first time sales have fallen below the 10-year average since May 2014.

The drop in sales comes after the introduction of the provincial government’s 15% tax on foreign homebuyers. The tax was announced in July and came into effect in August.

Sales declines differed by property type.

“Supply and demand conditions differ today depending on property type,” said REBGV president Dan Morrison. “We’re seeing more demand for condominiums and townhomes today than in the detached home market.”

Sales of detached properties, previously the sector with the greatest strength, saw the region’s biggest plunge. A total of 666 sales of this property type were registered in the month, representing a drop of 47.6% from the 1,272 sales in September 2015.

A total of 369 attached properties changed hands in the month, down 20.3% year-over-year from 544 sales in the same month last year. Apartment sales fell 20.3%, reaching 1,218 sales in the month, compared with 1,529 units sold in September last year.

Benchmark prices for all property types grew significantly year-over-year, however. The benchmark price for detached homes reached $1,579,400, up 33.7% year-over-year and 0.1% compared with August. For attached properties, prices increased 29.1% to $677,000. The benchmark price for apartments grew 23.5% over the past year, reaching $511,800.

“Changing market conditions are easing upward pressure on home prices in our region,” Morrison said. “There’s uncertainty in the market at the moment, and homebuyers and sellers are having difficulty establishing price as a result.”