Transactions were at an 18-year low in Greater Vancouver last month.
“It speaks volumes of the direction we’re heading in and of consumer confidence, which is the leading indicator of how the market will perform in the first quarter of 2019,” said Adil Dinani, a Royal LePage sales representative.
According to December sales statistics released by the Canadian Real Estate Association, home prices fell 2.7% in Greater Vancouver last month, but still averaged a whopping $1,032,400.
“We’re seeing a meaningful shift in Greater and Metro Vancouver extending to Fraser Valley,” continued Dinani. “If you look year-over-year, [national sales] are almost 12% below the 10-year average for December.”
Sale prices actually increased 2.5% in Fraser Valley, and other parts of British Columbia also saw surges, like Victoria (6.4%).
Tighter mortgage qualification rules and a slew of measures introduced by the provincial NDP government have cooled Vancouver’s sizzling market activity of recent years past.
In the Greater Toronto Area, sale prices got a 2.98% boost to hit an average of $764,200. According to Cam Forbes, general manager of REMAX Realtron Realty Inc., the CREA numbers are indicative of normal market conditions, and he added that most sales in December occurred on the lower end of the pricing spectrum.
“There was a greater shift to condos in the city versus freehold,” he said. “The average price went up in the condo segment, and in the under $1 million segment prices are down year-over-year. It’s healthy.”
That is also evidenced by inventory levels in Canada’s largest metropolitan region, of which there were 11,000 homes for sale in December, or as Forbes says, three months’ supply.
While Toronto came out of 2018 in decent condition, the luxury housing market is lagging. Additionally, the new underwriting guidelines have adversely affected first-time buyers, and that’s crated an upward ripple.
“As markets behave normally, the percentage of higher priced homes declining is greater than the average, or lower-than-average, priced homes,” said Forbes.