The long-range downward trend of Metro Vancouver’s housing market continued into January 2019, with new data showing home sales totalling 1,103 throughout the month represented a 39.3% decrease over the same period in 2018.
According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), last month’s sales were 36.3% lower than the 10-year January sales average and the lowest January-sales total since 2009.
But there was a 2.9% increase from the 1,072 homes sold in December 2018.
During the past month, there were 4,848 homes newly listed for sale, representing a 27.7% increase over the past year and a 244.6% increase over the previous month.
The total number of homes currently listed for sale is 10,808 — a 56.6% increase compared to January 2018 and a 5.2% increase compared to December 2018.
The sales-to-active listings ratio for all property types is 10.2%, with the ratio hovering at 6.8% for detached properties, 11.9% for townhouses, and 13.6% for condominiums.
It is believed a downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12% for a long period. Conversely, home prices see upward pressure when this ratio increases beyond 20% for several months.
“Economic fundamentals underpinning our market for home buyers and sellers remain strong. Today’s market conditions are largely the result of the mortgage stress test that the federal government imposed at the beginning of last year,” said Phil Moore, president of the REBGV, in a statement. “This measure, coupled with an increase in mortgage rates, took away as much as 25% of purchasing power from many home buyers trying to enter the market.”
At the moment, the MLS index composite benchmark price for all home types in Metro Vancouver is $1.02 million, representing a 4.5% decrease over January 2018 and a 7.2% decrease over the last two quarters of 2018.