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'A totally different market': Home sales, prices continue to decline in Metro Vancouver


The number of home sales in the Vancouver area dropped further in September, as higher interest rates continued to cool the region's hot housing market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver released data Tuesday showing a 46.4 per cent decline when compared to the same time last year and a 9.8 per cent decline from August. Compared to the 10-year average, they were down 37.5 per cent.

"We saw kind of a continuing trend that we've experienced in Metro Vancouver over the last six months, which is fewer homebuyers active in the marketplace and a bit of an uptick in the number of sellers listing their properties for sale," explained the REBGV's Craig Munn.

"What we're really seeing right now is a market that's in transition."

Potential buyers are being deterred by both the interest rates and the broader inflationary trends that are making everything from food to fuel more expensive in the province. That decrease in demand, Munn said, is increasing available supply and driving prices down.

The benchmark price for all types of property for September was $1,155,300. While that is slightly higher than it was at the same time last year, it represents an 8.5 per cent decline over the past six months, according to the board's report.

"For people looking to get into the market, it's an interesting time," Munn said. "We're coming out of a period where there were record sales and it was a difficult time for buyers. They didn't have much time to make decisions, there was a lot of competition over fewer homes for sale. It's a totally different market today."

However, Munn also notes that these numbers paint a picture of activity across the entire region and doesn’t capture what is happening in different cities and neighbourhoods. In the suburbs, where home prices spiked earlier on in the COVID-19 pandemic, the decline in price is in the double-digits. He cites Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows as some examples.

"In a short period of time, some of those areas saw the largest increases in pricing and now we're seeing there's not as much stickiness perhaps to it," he said.

Both buyers and sellers, Munn said, will have to consider how to adapt to the changing conditions.

"It's really critical for individuals to look at their own individual circumstances, work with their Realtors do their homework to understand how today's conditions might benefit them or where there might be some risks that they need to take into consideration."

The full report form the REBGV is available online.

With files from CTV Vancouver's Spencer Harwood Top Stories

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