Vancouver home sales swoon amid buyer-seller disconnect
Home sales in the Greater Vancouver Area sank in March to their lowest level for that month in more than three decades.
There were 1,727 homes sold across the region last month, which was 31.4 per cent lower than a year earlier, according the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). However, last month’s sales increased slightly from February, when 1,484 were homes sold.
“Housing demand today isn’t aligning with our growing economy and low unemployment rates. The market trends we’re seeing are largely policy induced,” said REBGV President Ashley Smith in a release Tuesday. “For three years, governments at all levels have imposed new taxes and borrowing requirements on to the housing market.”
A number of government policy measures such as the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions' B-20 mortgage stress test rules implemented in January 2018 and foreign home buyers’ taxes in Ontario and British Columbia are often credited with cooling the country’s once-hot housing markets.
“What policymakers are failing to recognize is that demand-side measures don’t eliminate demand, they sideline potential home buyers in the short term,” Smith added.
The amount of inventory increased year-over-year, with listings in Vancouver sitting at 12,774 in March, a 52.4 per cent increase from the same month the previous year.
When it comes to prices, homes in Vancouver are still among the priciest in the country, but have decreased since the same time last year. Indeed, Metro Vancouver’s composite benchmark price fell 7.7 per cent year-over-year last month to $1,011,200.