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B.C. home sales slide almost 10 per cent in March despite mortgage rate drop

Houses are seen in a neighbourhood on the side of a mountain, in Maple Ridge, B.C., on Thursday, August 17, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck Houses are seen in a neighbourhood on the side of a mountain, in Maple Ridge, B.C., on Thursday, August 17, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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Home sales in British Columbia fell by almost 10 per cent in March compared with the same period last year, in a slowdown an analyst says could be buyers waiting for lower interest rates.

The B.C. Real Estate Association says the province saw 6,460 residential unit sales in the Multiple Listing Service systems last month, a 9.5-per-cent decline from March 2023.

The overall dollar volume of home sales also fell 3.6 per cent from the same month last year, dipping to $6.6 billion.

Association chief economist Brendon Ogmundson says in a statement that potential homebuyers “appear to be waiting on the Bank of Canada to lower its policy rate.”

Ogmundson says March's decline caps off a “slow start” to the first quarter of 2024 despite a “steep” drop in fixed mortgage rates.

The association says the average price of a home in B.C. on MLS did rise by 6.5 per cent from last March, reaching $1.02 million.

Overall, home sales in the province rose by 6.4 per cent in the first three months of this year, reaching almost 16,000 units.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2024.

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