Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly used some numbers from March’s real estate data
In yet another sign of Metro Vancouver’s cooling real estate market, regional sales dipped in April to more than 43 per cent below the 10-year sales average.
According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), there were 1,829 residential sales in April, down 29.1 per cent from April 2018.
The agency did report a spring bump for the industry, with sales up 5.9 per cent over March 2019.
Real estate board president Ashley Smith pinned the continued market downtrend on government intervention in the market, including a tougher mortgage stress test and B.C.’s portfolio of housing taxes aimed at foreign buyers, speculators, second homes and properties valued over $3 million.
“Government policy continues to hinder home sale activity. The federal government’s mortgage stress test has reduced buyers’ purchasing power by about 20 per cent, which is causing people at the entry-level side of the market to struggle to secure financing,” said Smith in a media release.
But in its latest quarterly Housing Market Assessment, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) said the dips suggest overvaluation and overheating of the market were finally easing.
“Home price growth over the past few years significantly outpaced income growth; these imbalances are now unwinding based on continued growth in economic fundamentals and lower resale home prices,” stated the report.
The report dropped its “overheating” indicator from moderate to low, and its overvaluation indicator from high to moderate. Price acceleration vulnerability remained tagged at moderate.
As sales sag, so too do prices.
The benchmark price of a detached home in April was $1.425 million, down 11.1 per cent from April 2018, and 0.8 per cent down from March 2019, according to the REBGV.
Condo prices also slipped, with the board reporting the benchmark apartment going for $656,900, 6.9 per cent from April 2018, and unchanged from March 2019.
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The benchmark price of a townhouse was $783,300 — 7.5 per cent down from April 2018, and unchanged per cent down from April of this year, said the REBGV.
With dipping sales and prices, inventory in the region has continued to stack up.
The board said there was an 1.3 per cent year-over-year drop in new listings in April, but a jump of 12.4 per cent from last month and of 46 per cent compared to April, 2018.
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