Metro Vancouver home sales fall significantly in September

Apartment prices were down 0.5 percent from the previous month

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      For the first time since May 2014, home sales in much of the Lower Mainland have fallen below the 10-year monthly average.

      This morning (October 4), the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported that in September, there were 2,253 sales.

      That was off 32.6 pecent from September 2015 and 9.6 percent below the 10-year average for that month.

      Sales of detached homes fell 47.6 percent, whereas apartment sales dropped 20.3 percent.

      September sales were 9.5 percent lower than August's sales figure of 2,489.

      For six consecutive months, the REBGV has reported that home sales were down on a month-by-month basis.

      The REBGV's territory includes most of the Lower Mainland but excludes North Delta, White Rock, Surrey, and Langley, which are part of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

      “Supply and demand conditions differ today depending on property type,” REBGV president Don Morrison said in a news release. “We’re seeing more demand for condominiums and townhomes today than in the detached home market.”

      New listings last month were one percent below the figure in September 2015 but 11.8 percent higher than in August 2016.

      "The sales-to-active listings ratio for September 2016 is 24.1 per cent," the REBGV reported in its news release. "This is the lowest this ratio has been since February 2015. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22 per cent range in a particular community for a sustained period."

      The board's benchmark home price for all residential properties was $931,900 last month, which is 28.9 percent higher than September 2015. The benchmark price for an apartment is $511,800, which is down 0.5 percent from August but still up 23.5 percent over September 2015.

      In August, sales were down 26 percent over the same month of 2015. When the August statistics were released, Morrison attributed part of the drop to a new foreign-buyers tax on Lower Mainland residential real estate, saying it was "causing some uncertainty amongst local home buyers and sellers".