BCREA reports home sales down 24 percent, market to “likely slow further in second half of year”

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      Realtors across B.C. sold a total of 11,463 homes in March 2022.

      The volume represents a 24.1 percent decline from the best monthly record set in March 2021.

      In March of last year, B.C. realtors sold 15,073 homes, beating the previous best monthly tally of 13,482 in May 2016.

      Year-to-date sales as of March 2022 were also down compared to the same period in 2021.

      Sales declined 20.1 percent to 26,577 from January to March 2022.

      In a report Tuesday (April 12), the B.C. Real Estate Association indicated that the volume of sales is anticipated to dip some more within the year.

      “Given the sharp rise in Canadian mortgage rates and expected tightening from the Bank of Canada, activity will likely slow further in the second half of this year,” BCREA chief economist Brendon Ogmundson said in a media release.

      The central bank is widely expected to announce a new increase in its interest-setting rate Wednesday (April 13).

      Observers anticipate a 0.5 percent hike, bringing the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate to one percent.

      The central bank’s rate affects variable-rate mortgages.

      The Bank of Canada is also expected to continue hiking its rate into 2022 and 2023.

      In the release, BCREA’s Ogmundson said: “Home sales in the province continue to moderate from record highs of this time last year.”

      Prices are a different story.

      In March 2022, the average price of a B.C. home was $1.096 million, a 15.7 percent increase from $946,813 in March 2021.

      On a year-to-date comparison, the average price as of March increased 20 percent to $1.086 million.