Home Sales Cooled Slightly in July, while Inventory Remains Low...
Home sales cooled in July, yet still remain significantly higher than last July, with 608 single-family homes sold on the MLS® System compared to 512 this time last year. However, month over month, sales have decreased by 15 percent from the 712 sales processed in June 2016. Last month’s active listings for single-family homes totaled 1,577, down 34 per cent from the 2,391 reported in July 2015 and still lower than last month’s figure of 1,621.
This is a historic low for our area, since we started tracking inventory levels in 1999. The last time inventory was this low was in 2005, when the number of single-family homes for sale dropped to 1,629.
The 15 percent property transfer tax on Metro Vancouver home purchases by foreign buyers took effect on August 2nd, so it will take some time before the effect of the new tax on sales and prices can be observed or effect our area. However, my Vancouver network connections say the market dropped about 20 percent from their peak in February, which shows it had more of an impact than what you would traditionally get for a summertime slowdown. A couple of my client’s home sales in Nanaimo were altered by the domino effect of this tax, as many buyers tried to finalize deals before the new tax came into effect.
Sales across Canada and pricing trends continue to be influenced predominantly by specific areas in both Ontario and British Columbia, with significant variations in local housing market conditions. For example, British Columbia is forecast to post the largest annual increase in activity (+20.0 percent) this year, while Alberta is expected to have the largest annual decline in activity (-11.5 percent).
Some local stats show that average price of a single-family home last month was $409,816, an increase of 12 percent over July 2015 and the benchmark price of an apartment rose by 9.77 percent to hit $207,900 while the benchmark price of a townhouse increased to $277,900, up just over 10 percent from one year ago.
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