Strong, but slowing down: Industry group provides insight on BC home sales

Apr 24 2022, 7:16 pm

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Home sales in British Columbia were still strong throughout the first quarter of 2022, but they have dropped since the record-breaking highs of the same time last year.

In March, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) recorded 11,463 residential unit sales in the province. This is a decrease of 24.1% compared to the all-time record high of March 2021, when a frenzy of pandemic-fueled shopping for new homes shattered real estate records after fierce bidding wars erupted.

A new report from the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) predicts that sales activity will continue to cool off throughout the latter half of 2022.

“Home sales in the province continue to moderate from record highs of this time last year,” said Brendon Ogmundson, Chief Economist of the BCREA, in a statement. “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.”

Graph showing mortgage rates rising


Rising mortgage rates across the country have some experts warning of a possible correction looming in the Canadian housing market.

At the same time as BC home sales numbers are down a bit, prices keep going nowhere but up. In March 2021, the average price on MLS for a home was $946,813. This year, that average price has jumped to a staggering $1.096 million — good news for sellers, bad news for those hoping to get into the real estate market for the first time, and no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to British Columbia’s ongoing housing affordability crisis. Year-to-date, the average price of a home in BC is $1.086 million, which is 20% higher than in the first quarter of 2021.

Chart showing home sales figures


British Columbia home sales last month totalled $12.6 billion, which is 12.1% less than in March 2021. Year-to-date, sales totalled $28.8 billion, a drop of 4.1% compared to the same period last year.

The number of active listings throughout the province sat at 19,618 last month, a decrease of 12.4% compared to March 2021 — and drastically short of the 40,000 listings that are needed for the real estate market to be considered balanced.

Chart showing home sales figures


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