April another lethargic month for Metro Vancouver home sales: Real estate board

Residential home sales last month were 43.1 per cent below the 10-year April sales average

Home sales remained sluggish across Metro Vancouver in April and real estate analysts slam government policies for the lack of activity.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says residential home sales last month were 43.1 per cent below the 10-year April sales average.

Across the region, April sales totalled 1,829, a 29 per cent decrease compared with sales one year earlier, but the board says activity has edged up 5.9 per cent since March.

The listless market is also reflected in prices, with the board reporting the composite benchmark price for Metro Vancouver residential properties is currently $1,008,400, an 8.5 per cent year-over-year decrease, and a 0.3 per cent skid since March.

Real estate board president Ashley Smith blames government intervention for the tepid market.

She says the federally imposed mortgage stress test has reduced buyers’ purchasing power by about 20 per cent, causing entry-level buyers to struggle to secure financing.

READ MORE: B.C. real estate board urges feds to revisit mortgage stress test

“Suppressing housing activity through government policy not only reduces home sales, it harms the job market, economic growth and creates pent-up demand,” says Smith in a statement, adding that more homes are for sale in Metro Vancouver than at any time since October 2014.

“This trend is more about reduced demand than increased supply,” she says.

“The number of new listings coming on the market each month (is) consistent with our long-term averages. It’s the reduced sales activity that’s allowing listings to accumulate.”

Just over 14,000 homes are currently listed for sale in Metro Vancouver, which the board says is a 46 per cent increase in one year and a 12 per cent leap since the tally one month ago.

The sales-to-active listings ratio also saw a nearly one per cent slip since March, to its April setting of 12.7 per cent.

The calculation reflects the ratio between the number of homes sold and the number of new listings being added to the market. Broken down by property type, it stands at 9.4 per cent for detached homes, 15.4 per cent for townhomes and 15.3 per cent for condo apartments.

Analysts expect downward pressure on prices when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for several months, while home prices tend to climb when the ratio moves above 20 per cent.

The benchmark price in April for a detached home was $1,425,200, an 11.1 per cent drop in one year and a slip of 0.8 per cent compared with the setting one month earlier.

The benchmark price for a Metro Vancouver condo was $656,900, down 6.9 per cent from April of last year but unchanged since March 2019.

Townhome prices also didn’t budge month-to-month but the board says April’s benchmark of $783,300 is 7.5 per cent lower than it was in April of last year.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser River freshet peak is coming soon

Predictions for 2020 by River Forecast Centre has the freshet peak at the Mission gauge for June 4-5

PHOTOS: Harrison Hot Springs Resort reopens

Reopening both celebrated and sombre as Harrison opens up again

VIDEO: Fraser Valley Bandits super fan celebrates 100th birthday

Abbotsford resident Gladys Sautter surprised by Bandits representatives on big day

Health Care Foundation proceeds with plans for Grand Gala

Second annual fundraiser supports hospitals in eastern Fraser Valley

FVRD flooding evacuation alerts in effect

Unprotected areas affected include parts of Morris Valley Road and Lougheed Highway

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley long term care facility

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Suspect sought in alleged assault, hate crime on Metro Vancouver bus: transit police

The woman then allegedly punched the teenager in the head multiple times

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Most Read