Real estate in Canada: Vancouver-area sales, prices down

Home sales in the Vancouver area continued to decline in September as higher interest rates continued to cool the region’s hot real estate market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver released data on Tuesday showing a 46.4 percent decline from the same time last year and a 9.8 percent decline from August. Compared to the 10-year average, they fell by 37.5 percent.

“We have seen an ongoing trend in Metro Vancouver over the past six months in that fewer homebuyers are active in the market and there is a slight increase in the number of sellers listing their properties for sale,” said Craig Munn of REBGV.

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“What we’re really seeing right now is a market in transition.”

Potential buyers are deterred by both interest rates and broader inflationary trends, which are making everything from groceries to fuel more expensive in the province. That drop in demand, Munn said, increases the available supply and drives prices down.

The reference price for all types of real estate in September was $1,155,300. While that’s slightly more than the same time last year, it represents an 8.5 percent decline over the past six months, according to the board’s report.

“It’s an interesting time for people looking to get into the market,” Munn said. “We come from a time when there were record sales and it was a difficult time for buyers. They didn’t have much time to make decisions, there was a lot of competition for fewer homes for sale. It’s a very different market today.”

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However, Munn also notes that these numbers paint a picture of activity across the region and do not capture what is happening in different cities and neighborhoods. In the suburbs, where house prices skyrocketed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the price drop is double digits. He cites Port Coquitlam, Maple Ride and Pitt Meadows as examples.

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“In a short period of time, some of these areas saw the biggest price increases, and now we’re seeing that maybe there’s not as much stickiness,” he said.

Both buyers and sellers, Munn said, need to consider how to adapt to changing conditions.

“It’s really important for individuals to look at their own individual circumstances, work with their brokers and do their homework to understand how today’s conditions might benefit them or where there might be some risks that they need to consider.”

The full REBGV report is available online.


With files by Spencer Harwood of CTV Vancouver

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