Business in Vancouver

Greater Vancouver home sales drop more than 30 per cent

The number of units sold in August dropped more than a quarter, according to provincial real estate representatives

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 September, 2016, 11:36am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 September, 2016, 11:40am

The new 15 per cent foreign buyer tax was a major driver behind a sharp drop in the value of home sales across Greater Vancouver in August, according to Cameron Muir, chief economist at the British Columbia Real Estate Association.

The total value of home sales in the month was C$2.128 billion (US$1.617 billion), compared with C$3.090 billion (US$2.348 billion) in the same period last year – a drop of 31.1 per cent. The number of units sold fell 25.6 per cent, with 2,554 homes sold in August. In August last year, 3,431 homes changed hands.

The average selling price fell 7.5 per cent in the 12 months to August, from C$900,592 (US$684,286) last year to C$833,065 (US$632,977).

The story was not the same across the province, however. Throughout BC, the total value of home sales fell 6.7 per cent to C$5.093 billion (US$3.870 billion). This drop was entirely due to a decrease in the average home price, which dipped 8.1 per cent to C$569,393 (US$432,742) from C$619,881 (US$471,113) last year, as the number of units sold actually increased 1.5 per cent.

“Strong housing demand across most regions of the province offset slowing home sales in Vancouver last month,” Cameron said.

He said the drop in the average home price was due to a change in both the composition and location of homes sold in the province.

“Fewer sales of high-priced detached homes relative to all other homes sales in Vancouver as well as fewer Vancouver home sales relative to the rest of the province has caused the average price statistic to decline.”