Home sales take a tumble in the Tri-Cities

Fewer detached homes sold in the summer months compared to last year

Uncertainty in the Metro Vancouver real estate market has spilled over into the Tri-Cities with detached home sales plunging over the summer and prices also retreating.

Recent data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) show Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody have been hit by the cooling market but REBGV president Dan Morrison cautions against reading too much into monthly statistics.

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“Detached housing has been taking a hit in terms of sales and in terms of price pressure but townhouses and apartments are still very strong,” Morrison said.

The impact of the foreign buyer’s tax is more likely being felt on the higher end of the housing market in West Vancouver and Richmond, Morrison said, while Tri-City real estate is impacted more by buyer fatigue and “aggressive pricing” by home sellers.

“Those two things were softening the market anyways,” Morrison said.

He also suggested that it will take time to see how Vancouver real estate reacts to federal initiatives to cool the housing market, such as rules to stop non-resident foreign buyers from claiming a principal residence to avoid paying tax on capital gains and stricter mortgage rules for homebuyers with lower down payments.

“We’re fairly optimistic — anytime there’s a move such as a change in interest rates or government policy, it creates some interest and everybody takes a deep breath.”

But for Coquitlam, the slowing of home sales in the months of July through September are clearly revealed by REBGV stats showing detached home sales dropping 47.4% to 225 from 428 compared to the same period last year. Townhouse sales also dropped 30.7% from 163 transactions to 113.

The only bright spot was apartment sales which rose 2.3% from 309 to 316 in the 2016 summer period compared to the same months in 2015.

Similarly, Port Coquitlam experienced a decline in detached home sales with the number of transactions dropping 42.8% between July and September of this year to 91 in 2016 from 159 in the summer of 2015, while townhouse sales also sank 45.2% from 115 last summer to 63 this summer.

PoCo apartments sales jumped 27.6% from 134 between July and September in 2015 to 171 this year.

In Port Moody, town homes sales were up, with sales increasing 22% to 50 from 41 transactions while sales of detached homes dropped 37.3% or from 75 transactions to 47 and apartment sales also declined 7.5% from 106 to 98 over the summer period comparing 2016 to 2015.

Detached home prices are also dropping slightly between August and September of this year (-0.6 in PoMo, -2.1% in PoCo and -1.4% in Coquitlam). But a year to year comparison shows single family homes haven’t lost much value, up 27.8% in PoCo, up 31.3% in PoMo, and up 34.3% in Coquitlam in 2016 over 2015.

Similar trends in year over year price can be seen for apartment and town home categories.

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