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Lower Mainland real estate cooldown continues as sales drop 42% below 10-year average

Real estate prices in the Lower Mainland are continuing to trend downward this month.
Real estate prices in the Lower Mainland are continuing to trend downward this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Sales and prices continue to trend downward in the Lower Mainland amid an apparent correction in the region’s real estate market.

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, residential home sales in February were down 32.8 per cent compared to February 2018 and more than 42 per cent below the region’s 10-year-average.

Sales were, however, up 34.5 per cent from January 2019.

Greater Vancouver home prices, 1977-present. 
Greater Vancouver home prices, 1977-present. . Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board

The board also says that despite a slight decrease in new listings, there was a growing inventory of homes on the market, up 42 per cent from February 2018 and seven per cent from January of this year.

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Prices have also continued to dip.

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The benchmark price for a detached home across the region sat at $1.443 million in February, down nearly 10 per cent from February 2018 and 7.6 per cent over the last six months. Prices were down a slim 0.7 per cent from January.

For apartments, the regional benchmark price sat at $660,300 in February, down four per cent from February 2018 and 5.1 per cent from six months ago. This benchmark price was, however, up a slight 0.3 per cent from January.

Sales-to-active listing ratios across housing types.
Sales-to-active listing ratios across housing types. Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board

Across the region, the key sales-to-active-listings ratio for detached homes sat at 8.5 per cent, while the same ratio was 15 per cent for townhomes and 17 per cent for condos.

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According to the board, home prices tend to see downward pressure when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period and tend to climb when the ratio pushes above 20 per cent for a sustained period of time.

For comparison, in February 2018, the ratio was 13 per cent for detached homes, 37.6 per cent for townhomes and 59.7 per cent for condos.