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Greater Vancouver home sales jump in July, but prices continue steady slide

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, June, 12, 2018.
A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, June, 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward

Metro Vancouver real estate sales saw an uncharacteristic summer bump in July, but prices continued their slow decline.

That’s according to the latest data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), which said that despite the bump, sales remained 7.8 per cent below the 10-year July sales average.

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver’s June home sales lowest since Y2K, benchmark price drops below $1M

However, following a string of monthly reports showing year-over-year dips in sales, the agency said July 2019 sales were actually up 23.5 per cent over July 2018.

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“While home sale activity remains below long-term averages, we saw an increase in sales in July compared to the less active spring we experienced,” REBGV president Ashley Smith said in a media release.

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“Those looking to buy today continue to benefit from low interest rates, increased selection and reduced prices compared to the heated market a few years ago.”

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

Despite the bump in sales, prices have continued to slide.

The benchmark price for a detached home across the region in July was $1.4 million, down 10.5 per cent from July 2018 and down 0.5 per cent from June this year.

The benchmark price of an apartment in the region was $653,200 last month. That’s down 8.8 per cent from July last year, and down 0.2 per cent from June this year.

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver home sales up ‘modestly’ in May: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Drilling deeper into the numbers, there were some more marked regional variations prices on a year-over-year basis.

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Vancouver’s west side (13.6 per cent), West Vancouver (12.5 per cent), South Burnaby (12.3 per cent), North Burnaby (11.7 per cent), East Vancouver (11.3 per cent) and East Burnaby (10.8 per cent) all saw double-digit price drops for detached homes.

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The only area to see a price increase in detached houses were Whistler (7.1 per cent) and Squamish (0.4 per cent), while the Sunshine Coast (-4.3 per cent) and Port Moody (-5.7 per cent) saw the lowest price drops.

The benchmark price for a detached home on Vancouver’s west side was just under $2.9 million, while on the east side it was $1.35 million.

On the condo market, there were similar regional variations in annual price changes.

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver home prices slide again, April sales 43% below 10-year average

West Vancouver (12.2 per cent), South Burnby (10.7 per cent), New Westminster (10.1 per cent) and Vancouver’s west side (9.9 per cent) saw the biggest price drops.

Whistler (4.3 per cent), Squamish (5.8 per cent) and Coquitlam (5.9 per cent) saw the smallest price decreases.

The benchmark price for a condo on Vancouver’s west side was $752,300, while in East Vancouver it was $550,600.

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Though there were 3.3 per cent fewer newer listings added in July versus the same year prior, inventory on the market still continued to pile up, said the REBGV.

Overall, there were 17.3 per cent more homes listed in the region last month than there were in July 2018, it said.