A total of 8,221 homes were sold on the British Columbia Multiple Listing Service in May, which is a drop of 7 per cent from the same month last year, according to the latest B.C. Real Estate Association monthly figures.
However, that total is a month-over-month increase of nine per cent from April’s sales – and, in terms of the annual drop in transactions, a significant improvement over March’s 27 per cent and April’s 19 per cent annual decline.
The average resale residential price in the province was $707,829, a drop of 4.3 per cent from May 2018.
“B.C. home sales increased nine per cent in May compared with April, on a seasonally adjusted basis,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA’s chief economist. “However, consumers continue to struggle with the negative shock to affordability that stringent mortgage lending policies have created.”
There were 41,519 active residential listings on B.C.’s MLS as of the end of June, up 23.2 per cent year over year. However, total active listings were down two per cent from April, on a seasonally adjusted basis, which the BCREA said was “the first monthly decline since the B20 Stress test was introduced in January 2018.”
Of the 12 B.C. real estate boards who reported into the BCREA’s monthly update, all but two boards cited lower home sales in May compared with a year earlier. The exceptions were the tiny market of Powell River, where statistics can fluctuate wildly, and Greater Victoria, which saw a strong May for home sales.
Just five of the 12 B.C. boards reported annual declines in average sale prices. Because this included Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria, it was enough to bring down the average overall provincial home sale price on an annual basis.
Year-to-date, B.C. residential sales dollar volume was down 25.1 per cent to $19.8 billion, compared with the same period in 2018. Residential unit sales decreased 20.2 per cent to 28,711 units, while the average MLS residential price so far this year is down 6.2 per cent to $688,339.