Home sales in Vancouver fall 9% in February

Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver blames rising interest rates, stricter mortgage requirements

A real estate sold sign is shown outside a house in Vancouver. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian)

A real estate sold sign is shown outside a house in Vancouver. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian)

Greater Vancouver’s real estate board says home sales in Metro Vancouver in February fell more than 14 per cent below the 10-year average as buyers contended with stricter mortgage rules and higher interest rates.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says 2,207 homes sold in February 2018, down nine per cent from the same time last year and 14.4 per cent from the 10-year February average.

The board says detached homes experienced the biggest drop, down 39.4 per cent compared to the average, while townhomes fell 6.8 per cent and condos rose 5.5 per cent.

Board president Jill Oudil says that rising interest rates and stricter mortgage requirements reduced home buyers’ purchasing power, especially those at the entry level.

She says that townhome and condo supply is still unable to meet demand, while Vancouver’s detached home market is beginning to enter into a buyers’ market.

In February, the sales-to-active listings ratio for townhomes and condominiums was 37.6 per cent and 59.7 per cent, while for detached homes it was 13 per cent.

The board says downward pressure on home prices tends to happen when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while upward pressure tends to occur when it falls above 20 per cent for several months.

The benchmark price for detached homes remained virtually unchanged from January 2018 at $1,602,00 in February.

The benchmark price for condos rose 2.6 per cent from January to $682,800 and for condos jumped 1.9 per cent to $819,200.

The Canadian Press