Home sales in British Columbia declined year-over-year on the back of rising interest rates, government policy changes and a mortgage stress test, according to RE/MAX.

Data showed that the number of sales for all properties dropped by 30% from the same period in 2017. Average residential sale prices, on the other hand, increased by 2%, from $1,030,829 in 2017 to $1,049,362 in 2018.

"The drop in sales in key markets across British Columbia can be partially attributed to Canadians' increasing difficulty in getting an affordable mortgage in the region," said Elton Ash, regional executive vice president, RE/MAX of Western Canada. "The situation created by the introduction of the mortgage stress test this year, as well as continually increasing interest rates, means more Canadians will be priced out of the market."

Nationally, the average sale price is projected to increase by 1.7%, according to the RE/MAX 2019 Housing Market Outlook.

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