The B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA) says residential home sales were down year-over-year in February, as tighter new mortgage lending rules kicked in.
According to the association, 6,206 homes sold across the province last month, down 5.7 percent from the same month last year. However, while sales dipped year-over-year, they were still up 4.1 percent year to date.
The association taps new mortgage rules that kicked in on Jan. 1 for slackening pace in sales, saying that since the new rules took effect B.C. home sales have fallen by 26 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The BCREA says in past cases of tightened mortgage lending, housing demand has weakened similarly for about four to seven months, with the biggest impact being seen three months in.
Victoria saw the sharpest dip, with home sales falling by 18 percent, while sales in Greater Vancouver dipped by 8.9 percent and the Fraser Valley by 1.3 percent.
However, that didn’t put the brakes on prices, with the provincial average for a residential sale reaching $748,327, up 8.8 percent year-over-year.
In Greater Vancouver, prices were up on average by 6.8 percent, in the Fraser Valley by 22.9 percent, and in Victoria by 4.2 percent.
The sales to active listings ratio, a key metric used to determine how hot a market is, remained tight in B.C.’s biggest metropolises. Generally, a ratio below 12 percent is considered a buyer’s market, while over 20 percent is considered a seller’s market.
The BCREA’s February data found the ratio in Victoria at more than 64 percent. In Greater Vancouver, it was 30 percent, while in the Fraser Valley it was 38.7 percent.
Courtesy of globalnews.com and credit to Simon
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