British Columbia

Supply up, sales down in hot B.C. real estate markets

Real estate numbers for the month of June 2018 suggest new demand-side measures are working as intended, according to several real estate boards.

Real estate boards suggest demand-curbing measures may be having desired effect

While supply of residential homes hit a three-year high in June, sales were down 37.7 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Real estate numbers for the month of June 2018 show slowing sales despite increased availability in some of B.C.'s hottest markets — which, according to several real estate boards, suggests new demand-side measures are working as intended.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says supply of residential homes hit a three-year high in June, but sales were down 37.7 per cent compared to the same month last year, and 28.7 per cent below the 10-year June average.

"Buyers are less active today," said REBGV president Phil Moore in a release. "This is allowing the supply of homes for sale to accumulate to levels we haven't seen in the last few years."

In the release, Moore suggests the decrease in activity may be due to rising interest rates and more restrictive mortgage requirements.

Similar story in Victoria...

Meanwhile, in the province's capital, the Victoria Real Estate Board is reporting a 29.8 per cent decrease in sales in June compared to the same month in 2017.

VREB president Kyle Kerr cited new mortgage regulations as a factor as well, but also suggested that B.C.'s impending speculation tax could already be having an effect.

"Even demand-side measures that are not yet live, like the Vancouver/Kelowna/Nanaimo/Victoria-specific speculation tax, [are] dragging the market down as many consumers stand aside to watch what happens," Kerr said in a release.

According to the VREB, the total number of listed homes in Victoria in June 2018 was up 35.5 per cent over June 2017.

...and the Fraser Valley

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board has not yet posted statistics for June 2018, but its stats for May 2018 are comparable.

Listings were up 29.5 per cent over May 2017, and sales were down 35.1 per cent in the same time window.

The proposed B.C. speculation tax was first announced in the province's February budget. It would see vacant properties assessed an additional tax of 0.5 per cent in 2018.

In 2019, that would rise to one per cent for out-of-province Canadians and two per cent for foreign investors.

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