Metro Vancouver’s dismal home sales in March blamed on government policies

A news release from board president Ashley Smith calls the trend largely policy induced

Home sales in Metro Vancouver in March plunged to levels not seen in more than three decades and real-estate experts blame government policies, not a lack of demand, for the dismal showing.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports 1,727 homes changed hands, a 31.4 per cent tumble from sales recorded for the same month last year.

March 2019 sales were up just over 16 per cent when compared with February, but the real estate board says they were more than 46 per cent below the 10-year average for the month and the lowest total since 1986.

A news release from board president Ashley Smith calls the trend largely policy induced.

She says governments at all levels have imposed new taxes and borrowing requirements on the housing market for three years.

The board says the result is that housing sales are no longer aligned with the growing economy and low unemployment rates across Greater Vancouver and most of British Columbia.

“What policy-makers are failing to recognize is that demand-side measures don’t eliminate demand. They sideline potential home buyers in the short term,” Smith says in the release.

READ MORE: B.C. receives two money laundering reports after reviews of real estate, cars

She warns that shelter needs are always present and a mortgage stress test, speculation tax and other levies can’t relieve that pressure.

“Using public policy to delay local demand in the housing market just feeds disruptive cycles that have been so well-documented in our region.”

Just under 13,000 homes are currently listed for sale in Metro Vancouver, a roughly 52 per cent increase when compared with March 2018, and a 10 per cent jump in one month.

Prices for homes of all types are falling. The board reports the composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently just over $1 million, down 7.7 per cent over the year and a 0.5 per cent decrease since February.

The benchmark price for a detached home shows the greatest year-over-year skid to $1.4 million, a decrease of 10.5 per cent since March 2018.

Metro Vancouver condos had a benchmark price of just under $657,000 in March, a six per cent decrease in one year. Condos also recorded the sharpest sales chill, with a 35.3 per cent year-to-year drop.

Townhouse sales were off 27 per cent from March 2018, while the benchmark price was down six per cent over the same period to $783,600.

For all property types, real estate board data shows the sales-to-active listings ratio for March was 13.5 per cent.

Analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for several months, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over the same time frame.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Semiahmoo students to raise awareness about acid throwing

The Grade 11 students are to host a fundraiser for victims

Maritimers bring taste of Atlantic Ocean to South Surrey

Maritime Seafoods owner says they cut out the middleman

VIDEO: Surrey Vaisakhi Parade floods Newton streets

Hundreds of thousands of people attended the annual event

Setting the stage for emerging performers

Variety fundraiser and ongoing open-mics showcase local talent

VAISAKHI EXPLAINED: Founding of the Khalsa was a seminal event in Sikh history

There are five K’s – articles of faith – worn by baptized Sikhs

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Most Read

l -->