Most B.C. real estate markets now ‘back in balanced conditions’

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Year-over-year declines in home sales across the province, combined with a jump in listings inventory, have put most of B.C. regions back into balanced-market territory, according to the B.C. Real Estate Association.

However, some regional markets are exceptions to that rule, the association observed.

There were 7,884 home sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across B.C. in June, which is a 32.5 per cent decrease from June 2017.

The total number of active home listings across the province correspondingly rose 21.2 per cent year over year, taking the overall B.C. sales-to-active listings ratio down to 21.9 per cent, with many of the individual board areas now falling below the 20 per cent mark.

“The impact of the [mortgage] stress test is still being felt across the province,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA deputy chief economist. “Lower demand as the result of higher mortgage rates and stringent mortgage qualification rules are bringing most markets around the province back into balanced conditions.”

Source: BCREA

Although 11 of B.C.’s 12 real estate boards posted average resale price increases compared with a year ago, those rises have slowed significantly – and overall, B.C.’s average home price in June was down 1.3 per cent from June 2017, at $716,326.

Market outliers

Not all of B.C.’s real estate board regions followed the same trends. In Victoria, the sales-to-active-listings ratio is 34 per cent, which is still a strong seller’s market – as is Vancouver Island’s 31.2 per cent and Kamloops’ 27.4 per cent.

Although Victoria’s ratio has eased dramatically from its unsustainable 68.8 per cent a year ago, and it was the area to see the biggest annual jump in available listings, market conditions are still tight with not enough home inventory for buyer demand.

Chilliwack was the region to see the biggest year-over-year sale price in June, at a rise of 8.4 per cent.

Aside from Northern Lights, where sales totals are low and therefore average prices fluctuate greatly, the B.C. regions with the weakest annual price growth were the Fraser Valley (up 1 per cent) and Greater Vancouver (up 1.4 per cent).