Vancouver price and sales drop prompts concern

The benchmark price for a typical detached house fell 0.1% to reach $630,251, while sales were down 21.2% in July compared to June, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). That was enough for the Globe and Mail to say in an article this week on the stats that “the latest home-sale figures point to a slowdown.”

But the declines are just month-over-month. Overall, the benchmark price for all residential properties in Vancouver is up 9.2% compared to 12 months ago, now at $630,251 in July. The benchmark for detached properties is up 13.3% year-over-year, and attached units are up 6.9% compared to last year to reach a benchmark of $524,909.

What could be behind the monthly drop in sales and activity is that more Vancouver owners are looking to sell with the favorable conditions, and thus creating more choices for buyers and less demand.

“We’re seeing less multiple offer situations in the market today compared to the last few months, but our members tell us that homes priced competitively continue to sell at a relatively swift pace,” said Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president.

The average selling time is 41 days in July, unchanged from June.

Sales are also still considerably higher than last year – up 14% in July compared to 12 months earlier.

“The number of homes listed for sale in the region has increased each month since the start of the year, which is giving buyers more selection to choose from and more time to make decisions,” said Setticasi.

Still, analysts are anxiously watching Vancouver considering home prices are up 21% in the past year alone. Some recent reports, such as Capital Economics, say it’s not a question of if, but when the Vancouver market and the rest of Canada’s real estate begins a decline after the recent surge, especially if interest rates rise.

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