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Metro Vancouver home sales plunge 34 per cent from last year

April sales also down 25.6 per cent from March as month-over-month prices increases stall at a lofty high
East 40th house for salle
House on East 40 Street, Vancouver, listed May 3 at $2.19 million, a price close to Metro’s new benchmark detached house price of $2,139,200. | REW.Ca / Royal LePage

The benchmark price of a home in Greater Vancouver in April inched up just 1 per cent from March as sales dropped more than 25 per cent and were down more than a third from a year earlier.

The composite price, at $1,374,500, however, remains the highest of any Metro region in Canada.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that home sales totalled 3,232 in April 2022, a 34.1 per cent decrease from the 4,908 sales in April 2021, and a 25.6 per cent decrease from the 4,344 homes sold in March 2022.

Last month’s sales were 1.5 per cent above the 10-year April sales average.

 “So far this spring, we’ve seen home sales ease down from the record-breaking pace of the last year,” said Daniel John, REBGV chairman.

There were 6,107 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale across Metro Vancouver in April 2022, down 23.1 per cent compared to April 2021 and an 8.5 per cent decrease compared to March 2022 when 6,673 homes were listed. The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the multiple listing system is 8,796, a 14.1 per cent decrease compared to April 2021 and a 15.3 per cent increase compared to March 2022, when 7,628 properties were available..

“This is not last year’s real estate market,” noted Kevin Skipworth, partner and broker with Dexter Associates Realty, Vancouver, who noted that rising interest rates and government legislation have helped to dampen demand.

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for April 2022 was 36.7 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 25.3 per cent for detached homes, 47.1 per cent for townhomes, and 45 per cent for apartments.

Sales of detached houses saw the biggest decline, plunging 41.9 per cent from April of 2021, though the benchmark house price, at $2,139,200, was up nearly 21 per cent year over year and 1 per cent higher than in March 2022.

Sales of condo apartments reached 1,692 in April 2022, a 26.1 per cent decrease compared to the 2,289 sales in April 2021. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $844,700. This represents a 16 per cent increase from April 2021 and a 1.1 per cent increase compared to March 2022.

Townhome sales in April 2022 totalled 578, a 40 per cent decrease compared to the 964 sales in April 2021. The benchmark price of an attached home is $1,150,500. This represents a 25 per cent increase from April 2021 and a 1.1 per cent increase compared to March 2022.

In past month, British Columbia announced it would bring in a “cooling-off” period to allow homebuyers to walk away from a purchase without penalty within a time frame yet to be set; and the City of Vancouver increased its empty home tax to 5 per cent.  In April, the Bank of Canada increased the overnight lending rate 50 basis points to 1 per cent, which immediately increased mortgage interest rates. Further rate hikes are expected.

“We could be heading to a complacent market,” suggested Skipworth. “A slowdown that awaits the next real estate super cycle.”