BC Home Sales Continue at Slower Pace in September

Vancouver, BC – October, 2018. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 5,573 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province in September, a 33.2 per cent decrease from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $685,749, down 1.1 per cent from September 2017. Total sales dollar volume was $3.8 billion, a 34 per cent decline from September 2017.

“BC home sales continue at a slower pace compared to last year,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The impact on affordability and purchasing power caused by the mortgage stress test and moderately higher interest rates are negating the effect of the extraordinarily strong performance of BC’s economy over the last five years.”

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 21.3 per cent to $45 billion, compared with the same period in 2017. Residential unit sales decreased 22.5 per cent to 63,251 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 1.5 per cent to $716,096.

For more information, please contact:  Gino Pezzani.

Canadian Building Permits – October, 2018

The total value of Canadian building permits rose 0.4 on a monthly basis in August to $8.1 billion on broad strength in the non-residential sector. Residential building permits declined for a third consecutive month.

In BC, the total value of permits reached a record high of $1.8 billion, smashing the previous record set earlier this year by nearly 13 per cent. Residential permits increased 17 per cent from July and were up 31 per cent year-over-year. Non-residential permits were up 77 per cent on a monthly basis and passed the $600 million threshold for the first time as the result of large office building projects in Vancouver.

Construction intentions August were mixed in BC’s four census metropolitan areas (CMA):
• Permits in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA increased 11 per cent on a monthly basis to $31.3 million. Year-over-year, permit values were down 9 per cent.
• In the Victoria CMA, total construction intentions were down 9 per cent to $71.1 million, a 40 per cent decline over this time last year.
• In the Kelowna CMA, permits values decreased by 14.5 per cent on a monthly basis to $96.6 million, but were up 4 per cent year-over-year.
• In the Vancouver CMA, the value of permits rose 66.4 per cent on a monthly basis and accounted for three quarters of all permit values in BC. Most of the increase came from the City of Vancouver, though the City of Burnaby issued over $250 million worth of apartment building permits in August.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

September 2018 Housing Market Video Update – Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Stats Centre Reports September 2018 for Housing in Great Vancouver

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Canadian Housing Starts – October, 2018

Canadian housing starts declined 5 per cent on a monthly basis in September to 188,683 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).  The trend in Canadian housing starts continued to moderate lower, averaging 208,000 units SAAR over the past six months.

It was a volatile month for new home construction in BC. Total housing starts fell 43 per cent on a monthly basis to 25,611 units SAAR and were down 31 per cent year-over-year. On a monthly basis, starts of multiple units were down more than half from August to just 16,980 units SAAR while single detached fell 3 per cent to 8,631 units SAAR. Compared to September 2017, multiple units starts were down 37 per cent while single detached starts were 20 per cent lower.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC:

  • Total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 42 per cent on a monthly basis to 14,390 units SAAR as multiple units starts dropped 50 per cent from August. Compared to this time last year, total starts in Vancouver were 21 per cent lower. September new home construction in Metro Vancouver was concentrated in Surrey which accounted for a quarter of all starts.
  • In the Victoria CMA, housing starts fell 56 per cent after a surge of new starts in August. Total housing starts were still on a 3,000 annual pace in September. That is well below the torrid pace of new home construction seen in Victoria over the past year, but still relatively strong.
  • In the Kelowna CMA, new home construction slowed substantially in September, falling to just 750 units SAAR from August’s near 4,000 unit annual pace. On a year-over-year basis, total starts were down 84 per cent to just 67 total units.  Housing starts in Kelowna have fallen off of the record pace of 2017, but remain above the 10-year average for the city.
  • Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA rose 23 per cent on a monthly basis, driven by a 44 per cent increase in multiple unit projects and strong single-detached starts. However, total housing starts were down 80 per cent compared to last September, which saw very strong multiple unit starts.

For more information, please contact:  Gino Pezzani.