Vancouver has seen slower home sales in August but there has been an overall strong housing demand across most regions within BC. There were 8,945 residential units recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) last month which is an increase of 1.5% compared to the same month last year. As for the total sales dollar volume, it has seen a decrease of 6.7% compared to last year with a total of $5.1 Billion in sales. The average MLS® price has also seen a deline of 8.1% compared to the same month last year which brings it to $569,393.
"The newly introduced 15 per cent foreign buyer tax combined with the 3 per cent property transfer tax on homes over $2 million brought in earlier this year, slowed demand at the top end of the market in Vancouver last month." - Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.
"The decline in the average home price was due to a change in the composition and location of homes sold in the province," added Muir. "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."
Year-to-date, the BC residential sales dollar increased to $61.6 Billion (39.1% increase) when compared to the same period in 2015. As for the unit sales, it has also increased to 86,206 units (22.1% increase) whereas the average MLS® residential price totaled $714,400 (13.9%). 2016 was off to a good start with record-breaking sales while July and August saw more historically normal activity.
The new foreign tax implemented appears to be a factor in the downward residential sales within the Metro Vancouver area. It has reduced foreign buyer activity within the residential market and has caused some uncertainty amongst local home buyers and sellers. It may be a little early to see the true impact of this new tax but in a few months time, we would be able to analyze foreign buyer data more closely. As September comes to an end, stay tuned in the next few weeks for stats on this month. For all your real estate needs, contact the WeSellVancouver team at firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively at 604-801-6654.
Source: British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA)