VANCOUVER – Real estate sales recorded across British Columbia were down 24 per cent in February compared to a year ago, which has helped bring down the province’s average price eight per cent, the B.C. Real Estate Association reported Thursday.
The province saw 4,501 residential sales recorded through the Multiple Listing Service in February, compared with 5,895 in the same month a year ago. The average resale price in February was $529,922, down 8.1 per cent from a year ago, although Cameron Muir, chief economist for the association, said a significant spike in February 2012 prices exaggerates the decline.
“Most B.C. markets have experienced relatively stable price levels during the first two months of the year,” Muir said in a news release.
While the decline in sales in Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley had the biggest influence on provincial numbers, a few regions saw steeper drops on a percentage basis and on price.
The South Okanagan Real Estate Board, for instance, saw a 33 per cent decline in sales to 66 units in February compared with 98 in the same month a year ago. The average South Okanagan price was down almost 20 per cent at $244,666, compared with $304,421 in February 2012. This region takes in Penticton and Osoyoos.
In Northern Lights, the area around Dawson Creek, sales in February were down 38 per cent in February at 29 units, compared with 47 units a year ago. Prices, however, were up 7.5 per cent at $287,057 compared with the same month a year ago.
“B.C. home sales continued at a modest pace in February,” Muir said. “Despite improved affordability, many potential buyers and sellers remain in a holding pattern.”
Muir’s estimate is that with sales down for such a long period, there are enough potential buyers who have put off decisions that there is what economists call “pent-up demand” building in the market and “it’s not a matter of if, but when home sales rise above their current pace.”
- Biden’s chocolate gift an ‘unbelievable’ moment for its Syrian-Canadian creator
- Bird flu’s momentum in Canada worries experts: ‘Potential to become a pandemic’
- ‘One of the most dangerous jobs’: Former education worker on violence in N.S. schools
- Major Canada-U.S. border rules change to take effect within hours