Home sales in Metro Vancouver fell 18.9 per cent in July, compared with the same month a year ago, and 26.7 per cent, compared with June, according to statistics that the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver released August 3. Prices, however, continued to rise. A benchmark home in the region is now C$930,400 (US$712,24), or 32.6 per cent more than a year ago. That price is 1.4 per cent more than the C$917,800 (US$702,578) benchmark price in June. It was low sales across the region, however, that has broken a longtime trend. This is the first time since January that fewer than 4,000 homes have sold in the region, given that a mere 3,978 sales transacted during July. “Home sale activity showed some moderating signs in late June and this carried into July,” said REBGV president Dan Morrison. “We’ll wait and watch over the next few months to see if this marks the return of more normal market trends.” The number of listed properties for sale is also down – 27.4 per cent to 8,351, compared to July 2015, although listings are up 6.9 per cent compared with June. The market, however, is still considered a seller’s market given that the sales-to-active-listings ratio for July 2016 is 38.6 per cent. Conventional real estate wisdom is that a market is considered to be a buyer's market when the sales-to-active-listings ratio is below 13 per cent for a sustained period of time. A balanced market exists when the ratio is between 13 per cent and about 21 per cent. A seller’s market is anything above that. Last month, the sales-to-active listings ratio was 56.3 per cent. All classes of residential real estate bore the same basic trend of fewer sales, a slight price increase, compared with June, and a large price increase when compared with last July. Sales for detached homes fell 30.9 per cent in July, compared with the same month a year ago, and the benchmark price increased 38 per cent during the same two time periods, to C$1,578,300 (US$1,208,267). Apartment properties’ sales fell 7.3 per cent, compared with July 2015, while prices increased 27.4 per cent, to C$510,600 (US$390,847), in the same two time periods. Attached properties, such as duplexes, had a sales dip of 20.7 per cent in July, compared with a year ago. Prices for those homes were up 29.4 per cent, during the same two time periods, to C$669,000 (US$512,096).