Metro Vancouver home sales fell to 18-year low in 2018

by Steve Randall04 Jan 2019

The weakness of the Metro Vancouver housing market over the past year was highlighted by a report from the region’s real estate board Thursday.

It said that sales for the whole of 2018 were the worst annual total for the region since 2000 and 25% below the 10-year average.

Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported total sales through the MLS for the year reached 24,619, down 31.9% from 2017 and 38.4% below the total for 2016.

“This past year has been a transition period for the Metro Vancouver housing market away from the sellers’ market conditions we experienced in previous years,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “High home prices, rising interest rates and new mortgage requirements and taxes all contributed to the market conditions we saw in 2018.”

Weakness continued to the end with December sales down 46.8% year-over-year to 1,072. That’s 33.3% fewer sales than in November 2018.

Downward pressure on prices
The MLS® HPI composite benchmark price for all residential homes in Metro Vancouver ended the year at $1,032,400, down 2.7% from a year earlier. The benchmark for detached homes was down 7.8% year-over-year; it was down 0.6% for apartments; but was up 1.3% for townhomes.

However, over the past 6 months, the drop was 7.3% for detached homes, 6.4% for apartments, and 5.3% for townhomes.

“As the total supply of homes for sale began to accumulate in the spring, we began to see downward pressure on prices across all home types throughout the latter half of the year,” Moore said.

Home listings totaled 53,614 in 2018, down 1.9% year-over-year.

“The supply of homes for sale will be an important indicator to follow in 2019. We’ve had record building activity in recent years and many projects will complete soon. This will provide additional housing options for home buyers across the region,” Moore said.

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