February 2, 2017 1:39 pm
Updated: February 2, 2017 1:42 pm

Home sales plummet in Vancouver as market softens

A real estate sold sign is shown outside a house in Vancouver, Tuesday, Jan.3, 2017. Home sales in Metro Vancouver last month dropped by almost 40 per cent compared with January 2016 with the sale of detached houses falling hardest.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
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VANCOUVER – Home sales in Metro Vancouver last month dropped by almost 40 per cent compared with January 2016 with the sale of detached houses falling hardest.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says the townhome and condominium markets are more active than sales for detached homes.

Just over 1,500 residential properties sold in January, down 39.5 per cent from about 2,500 sales that were recorded in January last year.

Sales last month were also down about 11 per cent from December, when about 1,700 homes sold.

The board says January’s sales were 10-per-cent below the region’s 10-year sales average for January.

The B.C. government brought in a 15-per-cent tax on foreign buyers in the Vancouver area last August but some analysts have said the market was already showing signs of softening after months of scorching sales.

Board president Dan Morrison says it has been a “lukewarm” start to 2017 compared with 2016.

“While we saw near record-breaking sales at this time last year, home buyers and sellers are more reluctant to engage so far in 2017,” he said in a statement.

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