B20 has tightened demand but done little for supply in BC

Homes sales fell by almost a quarter in British Columbia last month but supply remained tight and prices increased.

Figures from the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) show that sales of 7,409 in March meant a 24.6% decrease from a year earlier while prices gained 5.3% to an average price of $726,930.

“More burdensome mortgage qualifications are having the predictable effect of swiftly curbing housing demand,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “You simply cannot pull as much as 20% of the purchasing power away from conventional mortgage borrowers and not create a downturn in consumer demand.”

Even with lower demand, supply of homes remains low across most of the province, with little change from a year ago and total inventory at or near a 12-year low.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 1.7 per cent to $13.9 billion, compared with the same period in 2017. Residential unit sales decreased 9.4 per cent to 18,927 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 8.5 per cent to $732,243.

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