The dollar-volume value of home resales across the province in August was 22% higher than one year previously – but that is mostly to do with the rise in prices rather than unit transactions, reveals the British Columbia Real Estate Associations’ (BCREA) latest monthly report, published September 14.
The sales dollar volume totalled a very healthy $6.2 billion last month, but the number of sales across the province only increased 2.4% year over year, to 9,962 units.
The total value increase was mostly caused by the 19.1% annual rise in the average resale home price in the province, now at $678,168.
BC’s relatively muted growth in unit transactions compared with last August stands in contrast to that of Greater Vancouver, where home sales last month increased by 22% year over year. However, that was in comparison with the slow Greater Vancouver sales seen in August 2016, partly caused by the local foreign buyer tax, which did not affect other areas of the province.
Home sales across BC in August were just slightly down from July’s total of 9,275 units.
“BC home sales in August remained unchanged from July, on a seasonally adjusted basis,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist.
“Strong economic conditions are underpinning demand. However, rising home prices combined with upward pressure on mortgage interest rates is expected to temper demand over the balance of the year.”
Only one of BC’s 11 real estate boards (Powell River) reported a year-over-year declines in the number of home sales in August, but four of the boards posted lower sales dollar volumes than the same month last year.
Of the larger markets, Greater Vancouver’s August dollar volume saw the largest jump, at 43% higher than during the dampened activity of August last year.
Year-to-date across the province, total sales dollar volume is down 15.9% compared with the same period last year, at $51.8 billion – largely because this figure includes the slow start of 2017 and is compared against the very hot spring market of 2016.
Residential unit sales so far this year have fallen 15% on an annual basis to 73,267 units, while the average MLS® residential price is down 1.1% to $706,839.
For more information and a breakdown of local board statistics, read the full BCREA report.