Home sales in British Columbia slipped almost 8 per cent in May compared to a year earlier as tight inventory in many areas restricted activity.

The BC Real Estate Association says that the number of properties listed for sale has fallen 50 per cent over the last five years and 11 per cent in the year to May 2017 while demand this spring has increased.

"The entire southern portion of the province is experiencing a shortage of housing supply, which makes continuing upward pressure on home prices inevitable, at least in the near term," said BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir.

The association’s members sold 12,404 units in May. The average MLS residential price in the province was $752,536, a 4.2 per cent increase from the same period last year.

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