B.C. home sales settle back to historic averages: BCREA

Home sales fell in Vancouver in January | Photo: Rob Kruyt

Home sales across British Columbia returned to a historic average level in January, according to British Columbia Real Estate Association data released February 15.

A total of 4,487 homes changed hands last month, which is right at the average level for the month of January. It is down slightly from the 4,721 units sold in December.

Sales varied widely by region, and Vancouver sales as a percentage of total provincial transactions fell from 43% in January 2016 to 35% last month

“Housing demand across the province returned to long-term average levels last month,” said BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir.

“However, regional variations persist, with Victoria posting above average performance and Vancouver falling below the average.”

In Vancouver, 1,553 sales took place in the month, which is down almost 40% compared with January 2016.

January saw a total of $2.79 billion in home sales across B.C., which is down 36.5% from the same month last year. The average price was $621,093 – down 17.5% year-over-year.

Muir says the drop in average price relates to where sales are taking place.

“A marked decrease in the average MLS residential price is largely the result of relatively more home sales occurring outside of the Lower Mainland.”

The average sale price in Vancouver was $878,242, which is down 19% from $1,083,177 last year. A drop in detached home sales relative to sales of multi-family units is behind the decrease in the average price, the BCREA said.

Meanwhile, the average home price in Victoria increased 12.3% to $589,082.

Last year was a record year for sales across the province, but transactions slowed down markedly in the last half of the year due in part to the introduction of the 15% foreign-buyer tax and new federal mortgage rules.

Data released yesterday from Teranet showed an increase in sales in January; there is a discrepancy between this and today’s BCREA data because Teranet’s data includes repeat sales only.