BC home sales constrained by static qualifying mortgage rate

Home sales in British Columbia continue to be constrained with a year-over-year decline to 6,960 units in June.

The 11.8% decline reported by the British Columbia Real Estate Association continues the recent trend and comes as prices ease and listings increase. Meanwhile, buyers continue to be challenged by finances.

“BC home sales moderated lower in June after a stronger showing in May,” said BCREA Deputy Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “While mortgage rates offered by lenders have moved below 3%, a static qualifying rate has limited the impact of the lower cost of borrowing.”

The average MLS® residential price in the province was $687,584, a decline of 4% from June 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $4.8 billion, down 15.3% year-over-year.

Total MLS® residential active listings were up 18.6% year-over-year to 42,625 units but were essentially flat on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to May.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 23.4% to $24.5 billion, compared with the same period in 2018.

Residential unit sales decreased 18.7% to 35,679 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 5.8% to $688,080.