Fewer buyers, more choice, push Vancouver home sales to lowest level since 2000

VANCOUVER — Home sales in July across Metro Vancouver tumbled to their lowest level in 18 years in statistics compiled by the real estate board, but prices remained steady since last month.

The Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board says 2,070 properties changed hands in July, a 30 per cent plunge when compared with July of last year and about 29 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.

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The number of condos, townhomes and detached houses listed for sale were up 32 per cent year-over-year, and 1.6 per cent since June.

The real estate board says the benchmark price for all residential properties was just under $1.1 million, a 6.7 per cent hike over July 2017 but a slip of 0.6 per cent since June.

Board president Phil Moore says the number of sales to active listings across Metro Vancouver last month was pegged at almost 10 per cent for detached homes, 20 per cent for townhomes and about 27 per cent for condos.

Analysts expect downward pressure on prices when the ratio dips below 12 per cent, while property prices tend to climb when it is over 20 per cent.

Moore said there's less upward pressure on home prices across the region.

"This is most pronounced in the detached home market, but demand in the townhome and apartment markets is also relenting from the more frenetic pace experienced over the last few years," Moore said in a news release on Wednesday.

Real estate board data shows July sales of single detached homes plunged nearly 33 per cent compared with July of last year, while the almost $1.6 million benchmark price slipped 1.5 per cent over the same period and is down 0.6 per cent since June.

Sales of condos decreased 26.5 per cent year-over-year while sales of townhomes fell by almost 35 per cent, but both property types have seen price hikes above 12 per cent since last July.

The benchmark price is $700,500, for a condo and $856,000 for a townhome, but the board says prices for condos and townhomes have slipped about 0.5 per cent since June.

"With increased mortgage rates and stricter lending requirements, buyers and sellers are opting to take a wait-and-see approach for the time being," Moore said.

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