Vancouver, BC February 18, 2013.The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 3,410 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in BC during January, up 1.8 per cent from December on a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis, but down 13.6 per cent compared to January 2012. Similarly, total sales volume increased 3.8 per cent SA, but declined 16 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $514,134, up 3.2 percent from December, however, down 2.7 per cent from a year ago.
"Despite a modest uptick in consumer demand last month, home sales have remained relatively stable at a noticeably lower level since last August," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "Continuing low mortgage interest rates combined with an easing back of home prices in some areas is expected to trend home sales higher during the spring and summer months."
"The ratio of home sales to new listings is indicative of a balanced market at 42 per cent," added Muir. "However, there remains a backlog of existing home listings to either sell or be pulled off the market before supply and demand can be considered in check."
Dramatic swings in average price statistics caused by a surge and subsequent pullback in luxury home sales appear to be near an end. The year-over-year change in average prices now more closely reflects the home price indices in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
More on the January market from BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir: