With files from Matt Lee.
Metro Vancouver home sales in July resembled more typical levels.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is reporting residential property sales in the region in July were down 19% compared with the same month last year.
It’s also a drop of 27%, compared to June.
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This is the first time since January that home sales in the Metro Vancouver area have registered below 4,000 in a month.
Five Year Price Trend
Valley sales down
Fraser Valley’s real estate market also simmered last month, falling ten per cent year over year while experiencing a 31 per cent plunge compared to June.
Fraser Valley Real Estate Board President Dan Morrison admits deals last month were down from the previous July, but adds it’s because 2015 was the exception to the norm.
“We always expect July to be a much slower month traditionally. Last July, a year ago, was actually the exception. We kept roaring through. However, this year we’re back to normal numbers.”
Despite sales being down, benchmark prices have remained stable.
Morrison says right now the sales-to-active listings ratio is still too high for prices to begin declining.
The decrease in sales did little to decrease prices on homes, however; the cost for the average single family detached home was over $881,000, up 41% from last July.
Average residential sales prices since 1977
Beginning of the end?
Is this the beginning of the end?
UBC economist Tom Davidoff says despite the dip on the eve of the foreign buyers tax, it’s too soon to say.
Davidoff says it’ll still be some time before it can be determined if the market is cooling.
“The ratio of sales-to-listings is still not deep into buyer’s market territory. We really need to look at a couple more months before seeing anything at all conclusive.”
Davidoff adds it’s important to note June and July are typically slow months, and that last July was an anomaly for a high number of sales.
That’s a sentiment echoed by Vancouver realtor Aaron Jasper, who feels it’s simply a seasonal lull.
“In talking with my colleagues, we don’t see this as the beginning of a major price correction but really just a seasonal lull in the market.”
Jasper says potential buyers may have just taken a break from house-hunting for a while, demoralized by the buying frenzy in the spring.
“I think a lot of people just gave up.”