Home sales down in Metro Vancouver: Conference Board of Canada report

VANCOUVER – Home sales fell in Metro Vancouver for a fourth straight month in June, but aspiring homeowners shouldn’t celebrate yet — it’s still a seller’s market.

A new report from the Conference Board of Canada says sales fell in 15 of 28 markets nationally, including Toronto and Montreal.

The annual rate of sales in Metro Vancouver reached 44,688 homes last month, a 5.3 per cent drop from the previous month but a 5.1 per cent increase from a year before.

Prices remained flat around the $1-million mark, but are still up 12 per cent from June 2015.

Still, the report says sellers’ conditions prevail in Vancouver, as well as in Victoria and all southern Ontario markets.

The Fraser Valley led price growth in the country with a year-over-year gain of 24 per cent, while price growth is slowing in the Lower Mainland.

Listings rose in 17 areas, including a second straight monthly gain in Toronto and a year-over-year rise in Metro Vancouver.

The ratio of sales to new listings dropped to 73 per cent after peaking at 90 per cent in February.

Robin Wiebe, the senior economist who wrote the report, says a 73 per cent sales to new listings ratio is still very high and consistent with a seller’s market.

“It does look like the market may be easing just a little bit. There’s hints that supply is starting to move up a little bit.”

But while listings were up 3.5 per cent year over year in Metro Vancouver, they fell 1.4 per cent from the previous month.

Wiebe says recent trends indicate that housing prices may have reached their peak.

“The sales are backing off just a little bit and the listing are coming up just a little bit, so the market is moving ever so slightly,” he says.

“It’s still a seller’s market but it’s not as extreme a seller’s market as it was late last year and early this year.”