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Metro home sales, prices in a six-month downward spiral

October transactions down 45.5 per cent from a year earlier as Greater Vancouver housing prices continue to slip lower month-to-month
Benchmark home price has fallen 9.2 per cent in six months. | Western Investor

A month-over-month sales rally in Greater Vancouver’s housing market failed to mask a six-month downward spiral that saw October transactions fall to near historic lows and benchmark prices drop by 9.2 per cent compared to May of this year.

Total October sales, at 1,903, were up 12.8 per cent from a month earlier as buyers tried to get in before a late-October interest rate hike, the sixth in nine months.

Right on cue, the Bank of Canada raised the overnight lending rate by 50 basis points on Oct. 26, pushing the prime rate to 3.75 per cent.  This drove typical five-year mortgage rates above 5.5 per cent, a 100 per cent increase compared to the start of this year.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that October residential home sales were down 45.5 per cent compared to October 2021, but up 12.8 per cent from the 1,687 homes sold in September 2022.

October sales were 33.3 per cent below the 10-year October sales average.

 “Inflation and rising interest rates continue to dominate headlines, leading many buyers and sellers to assess how these factors impact their housing options,” said Andrew Lis, REBGV’s director, economics and data analytics. “With sales remaining near historic lows, the number of active listings continues to inch upward, causing home prices to recede from the record highs set in the spring of 2022.”

There were 4,033 new listings for detached, attached and apartment properties on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Metro Vancouver in October 2022. This represents a 4.6 per cent decrease compared to September 2022.

In total, 9,852 homes are for sale across Greater Vancouver, a 22.6 per cent increase compared to the end of October 2021 and a 1.2 per cent decrease from September 2022. Less than one in five (19.3 per cent) of listed homes sold during this October, and the sales-to-listing ratio dropped to 14.3 per cent for detached houses, according to REBGV data.

The composite benchmark price for all residential properties is currently $1,148,900. This represents a 2.1 per cent increase from October 2021, but a 9.2 per cent decrease over the last six months.

Sales of detached houses, with 575 transactions in October, were down 47.2 per cent from October of last year and 10 per cent lower than six months earlier. With a current benchmark price of a $1.89 million, the typical detached house has shed about $180,000 in value since May of 2022.

Townhouse sales in October totalled 333, down 44.8 per cent from October 2021, while the benchmark price dipped 0.5 per cent from September 2022, to $1.04 million.

Sales of condo apartments reached 995 in October 2022, a 44.8 per cent decrease compared to the 1,801 sales in October 2021. The benchmark price of an apartment home is now $727,100. This represents a 5.1 per cent increase from October 2021 but a 6.3 per cent price decline from six months earlier. Currently, the sales-to-listing ratio for strata homes is averaging around 21 per cent. 

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