‘Homebuyers and sellers were exercising caution’: B.C. real estate boards release August numbers

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says the market has slowed down over the summer months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

It may have been a hot summer but Metro Vancouver’s real estate market is showing signs of cooling down.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said last month’s home sales plunged roughly 40 per cent compared with August 2021.

The board said sales for the month amounted to 3,152 and came amid a quieter summer season marked by reduced buying and listing activity.

Read more: Canada’s housing market appears to be cooling. Is this the right time to buy? 

“What we saw in August and throughout the summer, both homebuyers and sellers were exercising caution,” said Craig Munn, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s vice-president of communications.

“They were really looking at the changing interest rate environment, the inflation pressures across the economy, and they really took a pause to give thought to what that means for their circumstances, whether buying or selling.”

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Last month’s sales were almost 30 per cent below the 10-year August average.

Read more: B.C. home sales plummet in July, but prices still edge upward

Sales of detached homes saw the most dramatic year-over-year drop at 45 per cent, with apartments trailing at 39 per cent and attached homes at 38 per cent.

The composite benchmark price reached roughly $1.1 million, a seven per cent increase over August 2021 and a two per cent drop compared with July 2022.

Andrew Lis, the board’s director of economics and data analytics, attributed many of the figures to the high cost of living.

“With inflationary pressure and interest rates on the rise, homebuyer and seller activity shifted below our long-term seasonal averages this summer,” Lis said.

“This shift in market conditions caused prices to edge down over the past four months.”

Read more: Canadian home prices were down 23% in July from February peak, CREA says

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board also released its numbers for August.

The real estate market in the Fraser Valley is also experiencing the same trends as Metro Vancouver.

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Although the market experienced a slight increase in sales from July, a 2.4 per cent increase, it was still a 51 per cent decrease compared with this time last year.

“For the past three months we’ve seen the local market return to a more balanced state,” said Sandra Benz, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s president. “With the Fraser Valley continuing to settle after months of record sales and prices, we expect to see more activity this coming fall as buyers look to capitalize on the region’s reputation for providing greater value for the real estate dollar.”

The board said benchmark prices continued to fall across all property categories, bringing them in line with prices from December 2021 and eating into year-over-year gains.

There also has been a large reported growth for the area in listings, with a 44 per cent increase in August compared with last year.

Click to play video: 'Despite rising interest rates some home buyers are being lured back into the market by falling house prices' Despite rising interest rates some home buyers are being lured back into the market by falling house prices
Despite rising interest rates some home buyers are being lured back into the market by falling house prices – Aug 19, 2022

— with files from The Canadian Press.


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