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Vancouver home sales in 2018 lowest in nearly two decades

Last Updated Jan 3, 2019 at 2:40 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)

Vancouver-area home sales last year were the lowest since 2000, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver-area home sales last year were the lowest since 2000, according to an industry group.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says sales on the Multiple Listing Service plunged 31.6 per cent to 24,619 in 2018. They were also 25 per cent below the 10-year average.

December’s sales of 1,072 homes were 46.8 per cent below the year-earlier total, and 33.3 less than November’s.

Tighter mortgage qualification rules, a variety of government measures and higher interest rates weighed on the market.

In an REBGV statement, president Phil Moore says “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.”

Listings fell 1.9 per cent last year and were 6.9 per cent below the 2016 level.

The group’s benchmark price for all types of homes, which is adjusted for variations in properties, fell 2.7 per cent year-over-year to $1,032,400. Meantime, prices for single-detached houses sank 7.8 per cent to $1,479,000, almost all of it since June according to the REBGV. They were also down 1.4 per cent from November.

The benchmark price of an apartment-style condominium rose 0.6 per cent to $664,100 but was down 6.4 per cent since June.

Moore is looking to the supply of homes this year as an “important indicator.” He says “many projects will complete soon,” adding “This will provide additional housing options” for home buyers.

Other markets also down

But Vancouver is not the only one that saw the market slow down, according to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, home sales in the region also took a hit.

“The Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) processed 15,586 sales in 2018, a 30.2 per cent decrease compared to
2017’s 22,338 sales and the lowest total sales for the Fraser Valley since 2013.,” read a release from the board. “The total dollar volume of MLS®transactions for the year was $11.8 billion, dropping from $15.7 billion sold during the year prior.”

In December the board processed a total of 800 sales, which according to them, is the lowest that month has seen since 2012.

Credit: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

The benchmark price for a single-family detached home in the Fraser Valley decreased by 1.5 per cent to $965,300 compared to December the year before.