B.C. real estate prices have fallen for a fourth straight month, shaving about 4% off their value from June, transaction statistics show.
Average home sale prices across the province are now down 15.7% in July — sitting at about $920,000 — as compared to the market's latest peak in March, when the average price was nearly $1.1 million.
Prices in the Fraser Valley have fallen the most of any region in B.C. since March — 20.5%, as the average unit now sells for just over $1 million.
“High mortgage rates continued to lower sales activity in July,” said BC Real Estate Association chief economist Brendon Ogmundson Thursday in his monthly market update for July.
“Many regions around the province have seen sales slip to levels well below normal for this time of year,” added Ogmundson.
Compared to last summer, prices are still up 3.6% in B.C.; however, prices are trending to a point where they will soon see a year-over-year decline, after peaking at 24.9% gains in March.
Active July listings of 31,386 remain below the estimated 38,000 needed for long-term market balance. Last July there were 24,473 listings.
Sales volume is down 42% year over year, from $8.6 billion worth of transactions in July 2021 to $5.2 billion last month. More properties sold in B.C. last January (6,138) than they did in July (5,572).
Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley saw the biggest drops in year-over-year sales, with declines of 57% and 50%, respectively.
The association noted that as the pace of sales activity declines below normal levels, inventory is accumulating.
“Inventories remain quite low, but the slow pace of sales has tipped some markets into balanced or even buyers’ market territory,” stated the association.
In an effort to curb inflation, sitting at 8.1% in June, the Bank of Canada has increased interest rates from 0.25% in January to 2.5% in July and another rate hike is expected Sept. 7. The bank has stated it is targeting a 3% or 3.25% rate by the end of the year, which will further erode homebuyers' qualifying levels.