B.C. February home sales down 27% year over year

February 2019 home sales in B.C. were down 27 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to BCREA. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward

It’s not just Metro Vancouver: real estate sales slumped across the province in February, according to the B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA).

According to the BCREA, there were 4,533 residential properties sold last month, down 27 per cent from February 2018.

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

The average sale price of all units provincewide was $678,625, a drop of 9.3 per cent year over year.

The organization is pinning the slowing pace of sales on new, tougher mortgage stress tests implemented federally last year.

The B.C. Real Estate Association says slumping home sales in the province are related to the implementation of tougher mortgage stress test rules. Courtesy: BCREA

“Prospective homebuyers continue to be sidelined by the mortgage stress test,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA deputy chief economist, in a media release.

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“As a consequence, and despite a strong B.C. labour market, sales remained slow in February.”

The dip in prices has been led by drops in Greater Vancouver (11.5 per cent), the Fraser Valley (7.5 per cent) and the Okanagan (3.2 per cent).

Elsewhere in B.C., however, prices continue to climb, with double-digit appreciations in Powell River (18.8 per cent), the Kootenays (16.5 per cent) and Kamloops (12.3 per cent).

The BCREA also pointed to growing inventory across B.C., with active listings climbing 36.5 per cent year over year.

READ MORE: Vancouver home sales fall nearly 40 per cent in January, as prices pull back

The sales-to-active listing ratio, a key metric that measures the heat of the market, dropped from 27.4 per cent to 14.7 per cent over the same period.

Analysts say a ratio above 20 per cent indicates prices pushing upward, while a ratio holding below 12 per cent indicates downward pressure on prices.

The numbers come a week after the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported February sales were down 32.8 per cent year over year, 42 per cent below the 10-year average.

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