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Homebuyers, sellers take a breather in the August heat

As listings decline, Metro Vancouver home sales dropped 40.7 per cent from a year earlier and the composite home price fell 2.2 per cent from July 2022
B house-for-sale-creditdantoulgoet-edit
Detached house sales dropped 45 per cent compared to August of last year. |Dan Toulgoet

August was one of the warmest Metro Vancouver summers on record but one of the coolest for the housing market, as sales in the month fell 29.2 per cent below the 10-year August average.

Sales totalled 1,870 in the month, down 40.7 per cent from August 2021, but just 0.9 per cent below the 1,887 transactions in July 2022, based on sales through the multiple listing service (MLS) of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

"With inflationary pressure and interest rates on the rise, home buyer and seller activity shifted below our long-term seasonal averages this summer,” Andrew Lis, REBGV’s director, economics and data analytics said. “This shift in market conditions caused prices to edge down.”

The composite benchmark price for all residential sales in August is $1,180,500, a 7.4 increase from the same month last year and down 2.2 per cent from July 2022. The composite price is down nearly $133,000 from the peak in February 2022.

Detached houses saw the biggest year-over-year sales decline, with the 517 transactions marking a 45.3 per cent decrease from a year earlier. The benchmark price for a detached houses dipped 7.9 per cent from August 2021 and was down 2.3 per cent from July 2022, to $1,954,10.

Based on the current price, that represents a $45,000 drop in value in a month.

Sales of condominium apartments reached 998 in August, a 38.8 per cent decrease compared to August 2021. The benchmark condo price is now $740,100, down 8.7 per cent from a year ago and 2 per cent lower than a month earlier.

Townhome sales totalled 355, a 38.4 per cent decrease compared to August 2021. The benchmark price of a townhome is $1,069,100. This is a 12.7 per cent increase from August 2021, but a 2.5 per cent decrease compared to July 2022.

Sellers also stepped back in August, with new listings in the month down 16 per cent from July and down 17.5 per cent from a year earlier, at 3,328.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS system in Metro Vancouver is 9,662, a 7.3 per cent increase compared to August 2021 and a 6.1 per cent decrease compared to July 2022, when10,288 listings were available.

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for August was 19.4 per cent. The ratio is 12.2 per cent for detached homes, 25.3 per cent for townhomes, and 24.8 per cent for apartments.

Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months, according to the REBGV.

“Home buyers and sellers are taking more time to assess what this changing landscape means for their housing needs,” Lis concluded.