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B.C.’s real estate market chilly as high rates take toll, says association

Housing supply increases for the fifth consecutive month but remains below historical norms: BCREA
British Columbia real estate sales and prices bumped up slightly in October compared with a year ago in what is being described as a balanced market. | Rob Kruyt, BIV

Homebuying in B.C. continues to slow down as rising interest rates cool demand.

A total of 5,373 residential units were sold last month on the West Coast, according to the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA).

This is down from the 5,531 units sold in September 2023, but it still represents a 1.8 per cent increase compared with October 2022, the industry group said in a Nov. 14 release.

“Home sales have slowed as expected given high borrowing costs and a punishing stress test,” said BCREA chief economist Brendon Ogmundson in a statement.

“However, the inventory of homes for sale remains quite low, despite a modest uptick in new listings. Consequently, markets have found balance, though at a very low level of activity.”

Average residential prices across the province increased by 4.1 per cent to $968,786 between October 2022 and October 2023. Prices in Metro Vancouver during this period increased by 4.7 per cent from $1,241,864 to $1,300,637.

The markets covering the BC Northern Real Estate Board, which includes communities such as 100 Mile House, Prince George and Fort St. John, recorded the largest price increase between October 2022 and last month: up 7.2 per cent from $398,542 to $427,228.

The number of active listings in the province increased from 29,207 to 32,666 between October 2022 and October 2023. This represents an 11.8 per cent increase and the fifth consecutive month that active listings have gone up.

Despite the rise in listings, supply remains below historical norms and “fall short of what is typically required for a sustainable market balance in the long term,” according to the BCREA’s release.

Meanwhile, total sales in terms of dollars decreased by 13.6 per cent to $63.1 billion across the province when compared to October 2022.

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