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B.C. home sales plummet 35% in April

Declining sales not affecting home prices so far
Average home prices increased by more than 10 per cent in Greater Vancouver in April.

The Bank of Canada’s effort to tamp down on inflation is having its expected impact on B.C.’s housing marketing.

The province posted 8,934 residential unit sales last month – down a whopping 34.9 per cent compared with the record sales seen in April 2021, according to Multiple Listing Services data provided by the B.C. Real Estate Association on Thursday.

The sharp decline in sales isn’t translating to lower prices amid tight supply at this point.

The average sales price of a B.C. home jumped 12.9 per cent year over year to land at $1.065 million.

Increases in Greater Vancouver home prices couldn't quite match the momentum of the province as a whole, rising 10.7 per cent to land at $1.34 million.

The South Peace region in the Interior was the only spot in the province to experience a decline in prices, falling 15.3 per cent to land at $259,831.

“Interest rates are on the rise, and the ultra rate-sensitive Canadian housing market is responding. Sales are falling fast and prices will follow,” CIBC economists Benjamin Tal and Katherine Judge said in a note Wednesday, referring to Canada as a whole.

“The return to balanced conditions or even a buyers’ market will not cure what ails the Canadian housing market. It will just ease the symptoms for a short period of time. In fact, if history is a guide, the slowing ahead might worsen the supply-demand mismatch in the market.”

The economists, who estimate housing demand is being undercounted by 500,000 households, said the biggest challenge ahead is ensuring there’s adequate supply.