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Greater Vancouver real estate sales return to ‘more typical levels’ in August: REBGV

A real estate sold sign is shown outside a house in Vancouver, Tuesday, Jan.3, 2017. T.
A real estate sold sign is shown outside a house in Vancouver, Tuesday, Jan.3, 2017. T. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Metro Vancouver’s summer real estate bump continued in August, with sales returning to “more typical levels” according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

The board’s latest report says the region saw 2,231 sales last month, up 15.7 per cent from August 2018, though down 12.7 per cent from July 2019.

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

It’s the second month in a row with year-over-year sales growth, after more than a year of slumping sales in what many analysts have called a correction to the region’s previously white-hot market.

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August’s growth was led by a large boost in sales of detached homes, which jumped 24.5 per cent over August 2018, while condo sales climbed by 8.9 per cent year-over-year.

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However, August’s sales total remained more than nine per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.

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

Despite the boost in sales, inventory remains high in the region, with 12,296 homes on the market – up 13.3 per cent over August last year, though down 5.9 per cent from July.

“With more demand from home buyers, the supply of homes listed for sale isn’t accumulating like earlier in the year. These changes are creating more balanced market conditions,” said REBGV president Ashley Smith in a media release.

Despite the stronger sales figures, prices in the region continued to slide.

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

The benchmark price for detached houses across the region was $1.4 million, according to the board, down 9.8 per cent from August last year, and down 0.7 per cent from July.

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The dip in prices from August 2018 was led by Richmond (12.6 per cent), Vancouver’s west side (12 per cent), Vancouver’s east side and Coquitlam (11.4 per cent) and West Vancouver (11 per cent).

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

Whistler and Squamish were the only municipalities in the region to see year-over-year price growth, at 7.9 per cent and 5.6 per cent respectively.

The benchmark price of a condo across the region was $654,000, down 7.4 year-over-year, and up 0.1 per cent from July.

The drop in prices from August 2018 was led by West Vancouver (11.3 per cent), east Burnaby (10.5 per cent), south Burnaby (9.6 per cent) and New Westminster (9 per cent).

As with detached homes, just Whistler (3.4 per cent) and Squamish (1.1 per cent) saw apartment price growth year over year.