If a cooling housing market was the intent of the provincial and federal governments’ recent policy changes, they succeeded.
Those changes have made it even more difficult for a real estate market that was already cooling late last spring to recover from its usual summer slowdown.
Property sales in Greater Vancouver in October fell 38.8 per cent from a year ago. The 2,233 total sales was also 15 per cent less than the 10-year average for sales in October.
Buyers and sellers are pulling back to see how the foreign buyers tax, introduced by the BC government in August, and new mortgage rules implemented by the federal government earlier this month, will affect them, said Dan Morrison, the president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. “Changing market conditions compounded by a series of government interventions this year have put home buyers and sellers in a holding pattern.”
In fact, new listings were down 17 per cent from September, and 9.5 per cent less than the 10-year average for the month.
The slower sales and listings are reflected in a slight moderation in prices. Although overall, it’s still a pretty healthy market, as the ratio of sales to active listings is at 24.4 per cent, well above the 12 per cent ratio most analysts agree tends to signal a downward pressure on prices.
The benchmark price for a typical residential property in Greater Vancouver, including detached homes, condos and townhouses, is $919,300. That’s .8 per cent less than September, but still 24.8 per cent more than a year ago.
Cooling housing market in New West
In New Westminster, the benchmark price of of $526,700 is down 2.5 per cent from September, but up 23.1 per cent from October, 2015.
As in most communities, single-family detached homes in New West took the biggest short-term hit. Their benchmark price of $1,046,000 is down 3.7 per cent from September. But that’s still 24.5 per cent more than it was a year ago.
Townhouses slipped 3.5 per cent to a benchmark price of $517,200 that’s 17.5 per cent higher than last year.
Condos in New West fell only 1.9 per cent since September. Their benchmark price of $376,800 is 23 per cent higher than October, 2015.
Not all of Burnaby a cooling housing market
While areas of Burnaby showed similar declines, there were some positive glimmers.
The benchmark price for a townhouse in East Burnaby actually went up 2.6 per cent over September to $530,300; thta’s 20.5 per cent higher than a year ago. And condos in North Burnaby increased .4 per cent to a benchmark price of $467,600, 26,2 per cent more than last year.