A strong demand for condos helped New Westminster buck the overall softening of September home sales in Metro Vancouver.
The 91 condos sold in the city in September was actually 11 more than the 80 sold in the same month last year. The benchmark price for a typical condo in New Westminster also went up 2.3 per cent over August, and 27.8 per cent higher than a year ago, to $384,400.
That’s been our experience as well; demand for condos, townhomes and lower-priced “family” homes in the city is still good, while luxury properties and fixer-uppers have come off a bit since the market peaked in the spring.
For detached homes in New Westminster, the benchmark price in September was down 1.7 per cent from August to $1.085,500. But that’s still 31 per cent higher than it was last year and a 64.4 per cent increase from five years ago.
Townhomes fell 2.6 per cent from August to a benchmark price of $535,600. But a year ago the benchmark price for a townhome in New Westminster was $437,900.
Overall the benchmark price in September for a typical residential property in New Westminster was .9 per cent higher than last month, and 28.5 per cent higher than a year ago.
September home sales slip in Lower Mainland
Throughout the Lower Mainland, the composite benchmark price of all properties slipped .3 per cent in September to $829,400. The 2.253 sales in the month was 9.5 per cent fewer than in August and 32.6 per cent less than the 3,345 sales in September, 2015. It was also the first time since May, 2014 that the number of sales dipped below the 10-year average for the month.
“Changing market conditions are easing upward pressure on home prices in our region,” said Dan Morrison, the president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. “There’s uncertainty in the market at the moment and home buyers and sellers are having difficulty establishing price as a result.”
Policy changes affect September home sales
The new rules for mortgage insurance, announced by the federal government on Monday, could also affect the market once they kick in on Oct. 17 and Nov. 30, as they’ll make it harder for some buyers to qualify for mortgages if they need mortgage insurance. That’s on top of the recent 15 per cent tax now being charged to foreign buyers of Metro Vancouver properties that was enacted by the provincial government last month.
In Burnaby, the sales of detached homes went up 31.8 per cent over August, but down 32 per cent over a year ago. Sales of townhomes and condos slipped 28.9 per cent and 9.8 per cent respectively from the previous month. The composite benchmark price for all properties in East Burnaby fell 1.7 per cent from August to $854,700. But it was only off .1 per cent in North Burnaby to $799,200 and South Burnaby to $866,800.
Still, prices are up 24.7 per cent over a year ago in East Burnaby, 28.2 per cent in North Burnaby and 28.4 per cent in South Burnaby.
And while the market may be catching its breath to absorb recent policy changes the sales-to-active listing ration in September was still 24.1 per cent. Generally analysts say home prices feel pressure to go up when the ratio is better than 20-22 per cent don’t start going down significantly until that ratio falls below 12 per cent.
Or, if you want an alternate take on September home sales from some real experts who know what they’re talking about