Around Town: Update on BC real estate sales
New sales numbers released by the B.C. Real Estate Association on June 15 suggest measures intended to cool the overheated house market could be working.
The Multiple Listing Service recorded a 28.7 per cent drop across the province in May compared to the same month last year. According to BCREA chief economic Cameron Muir, the drop is likely due to mortgage rules imposed by Canada’s banking regulator this year, which included a new stress test for uninsured borrowers. “The changes in mortgage policy are taking their toll on housing demand, not only in British Columbia but across the country by reducing purchasing power and housing affordability,” Muir said.
As sales slowed, average prices also took a slight dip, however, that’s entirely due to a massive decline in the market in Metro Vancouver. In every other market, including Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley prices continue to increase. The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that oceanfront home prices in the Comox Valley in the first four months of this year were up 20 per cent from the same time in 2017 and while the number of unit sales declined on Vancouver Island, Campbell River continued to grow with a 7% increase of unit sales and a 22% increase on average sale prices.
Excerpts from BCREA and VIREB reports.
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