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Vancouver home sales rally in October as prices ebb

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says home sales activity in the area for the month of October remain below long-term historical averages. A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, June, 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward

Vancouver home prices have edged down between 3 and 5 per cent since June, depending on housing type, REBGV says

Apartment-style condo sales jumped 21 per cent in October from the previous month

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The long plunge in Vancouver-area home sales is pushing prices slightly lower, driving a sales surge in October.

“Home prices have edged down between three and five per cent, depending on housing type… since June,” says Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president Phil Moore.

The realtors’ group says says sales of apartment-style condos, the largest segment of the market, jumped 21 per cent from the previous month to 985. Single-detached houses had a 26 per cent gain to 634 units, while sales of attached properties such as townhouses and duplexes rose 25 per cent to 344. Sales across all categories were still down 35 per cent from the previous October, to 1,966.

Moore adds “The supply of homes for sale today is beginning to return to levels that we haven’t seen… in about four years.”

The sales-to-listings ratio is still low at 10.3 per cent for detached houses, while condos are at 20.6 per cent, which is close to the midpoint for upward or downward pressure on prices.

The board’s adjusted “benchmark” price for a condo is $683,000, down 0.5 per cent from September, 3.1 per cent lower over three months, but 5.8 per cent higher than a year earlier. Single-detached houses averaged $1.5 million, representing a drop of 1.1 per cent in one month, 3.9 per cent in three months and 5.1 per cent lower than the previous October.

Vancouver’s month-over-month sales jump comes despite stricter mortgage qualification rules that have reduced the amount some buyers can borrow and squeezed others out of the market entirely.