Commercial sales in the Lower Mainland slower than last year

September 16th, 2019

The Lower Mainland saw a slide in commercial real estate sales in Q2

Steve Randall

The Lower Mainland saw a slide in commercial real estate sales in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported 407 commercial sales in Q2 2019 compared to the 604 sales of a year earlier, a 32.6% decrease year-over-year.

The total dollar value of commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland was $1.463 billion in Q2 2019, a 65.6 per cent decrease from the $4.253 billion in Q2 2018.

“The reduced activity in the commercial market has largely mirrored what we saw in the residential market through the first half of 2019,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said. “Residential demand did pick up in the summer months. How this change will affect the commercial market remains to be seen.”

Multifamily, land largest slumps The largest percentage decreases in sales were in the multifamily and land sectors.

There were 13 multi-family land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2019, which is down 66.7% from the 39 sales in Q2 2018. The dollar value of multi-family sales was $152 million in Q2 2019, a 73.9% decrease from $583 million in Q2 2018.

There were 103 commercial land sales in Q2 2019, 54.8% below the 228 land sales in Q2 2018. The dollar value of land sales was $738 million in Q2 2019, a 69.1% decrease from $2.388 billion in Q2 2018.

There were 179 office and retail sales, down 12.3% from the 204 sales in Q2 2018. The dollar value of office and retail sales was $367 million in Q2 2019, a 57.8% decrease from $870 million in Q2 2018.

And there were 112 industrial land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2019, which is down 15.8% from the 133 sales in Q2 2018. The dollar value of industrial sales was $206 million in Q2 2019, a 49.9% decrease from $412 million in Q2 2018.

Copyright © 2019 Key Media Pty Ltd

Liberals if voted in will raise first time home buyers program mtg amount from $480K to $780K + add a 1% nation wide speculation tax

September 16th, 2019

‘If you don’t vote for us, there’s nothing to help you.’

Neil Sharma
Mortgage Broker News

Justin Trudeau announced his Liberal Party would expand the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive if elected—as well as implement a non-resident speculation tax nationwide—but it begs the question, why now?

“I don’t know that anyone will object to it, but with that in mind, and with an election on the horizon, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a card they were saving for late in the election campaign,” said Mark Cohen, managing partner of The Condo Store Marketing Systems in Toronto, which, along with Vancouver and Victoria, is where the FTHBI will be expanded to.

“It’s a bit of a hostage situation because this is only going to happen if the Liberals are re-elected. In other words, ‘If you don’t vote for us, there’s nothing to help you.’”

The previous FTHBI capped household income at $120,000, which put maximum mortgage value at $480,000, but under the new proposal that number would rise to $789,000 in the GTA, Vancouver and Victoria, where Trudeau made the announcement.

“One thing I hear from a lot of young people here in Victoria is that they can’t even imagine buying a home right now. Owning a house should be a realistic life goal,” said the Prime Minister, who also announced a 1% Canada-wide speculation tax on non-residents if re-elected.

Cohen can attest to the influence foreign money is having on domestic real estate prices, and while he believes Trudeau’s policy announcement is cynical, he’s still glad the prime minister has something to offer.

“The majority of units closing these days are closing in cash, which means a lot of outside money is coming into the city,” he said. “For people who have been living here a long time, they’re not transporting money into Toronto. By acknowledging Toronto needs help, it’s going to give a good boost to all the incumbents who have found themselves in uncomfortable situations.

“You can’t buy very much for half-a-million dollars in the GTA, never mind in Toronto proper, so this is a good thing because there’s acknowledgement that Toronto needs some kind of initiative to help from an affordability standpoint.”

At The Condo Store, Cohen has witnessed too many would-be first-time buyers leave disappointed and grow disillusioned about their homeownership prospects in the city they grew up in.

“But there are also the ones we don’t see because they’ve already given up and ruled themselves out,” he said.

Copyright © 2019 Key Media

Ariva 1770 Old Ferry Wharf Road Westbank Kelowna 37 condos in first phase by Barry & Kevin Johnson-Ariva Resorts

September 14th, 2019

Amenity-packed Ariva project overlooking Okanagan Lake aimed at active downsizers

Kathleen Freimond
The Vancouver Sun

“If you were busy before, you’ll be even busier and have more fun at Ariva,” says developer Barry Johnson of Barry and Kevin Johnson-Ariva Properties.

Johnson says some baby boomers don’t downsize from large homes because a small condo or townhouse in an urban environment isn’t sufficiently attractive to encourage them to make the move.

“Ariva is not competing with other developments, we’re competing against people staying in their own homes – those people are not looking because want they want doesn’t exist,” he says.

Johnson is aiming to change that outlook with Ariva. He has been pondering the perfect empty-nesters’ development for about seven years with his son Kevin.

“For the ideal place, we narrowed it down to three key components. There must be great real estate with [spacious] condos, a sense of community and [it must enable] a physically and socially active lifestyle,” he says.

Situated on 12 and a half acres on Old Ferry Wharf Road, Ariva will be on the crest of the hill just above the old west side ferry terminal, says Johnson.

While the completed development will comprise 204 condos, the recently launched first phase includes 37 one-, two- and three-bedroom units with a range of amenities. This first building is five storeys with one level of underground parking with a parking stall for each unit. (Additional stalls can be purchased.)

“When people of the same demographic are going through the same stage of life, it offers an incredible opportunity to build community,” says Johnson.

The amenities, including a bistro, wine bar, residents’ lounges with fireplaces, amphitheatre and lake-view terrace with barbecue facilities, are all intended to enhance that community spirit.

But great amenities need to be complemented with programming, Johnson says, adding that he would rather have a barn and great programming than the finest amenities in the world with no programming.

He envisages a lifestyle concierge who will arrange activities ranging from community barbecues to inviting guest lecturers and organizing yoga, aqua size and stretching classes.

There will also be a range of excursions made possible by Ariva’s Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, which will transport people to local venues such as wine farms or golf courses.

“One of the motivating factors for people who look to move downtown is having restaurants within walking distance,” he says. “With the Sprinter, people will be able to go to whichever restaurant they choose. And it’s more fun to go with a group. We could shuttle more than one group to more than one restaurant, so no one has to worry about drinking and driving.”

With the focus on lake views, the condos were designed from the outside to the inside.

“We believe the most important room in the Okanagan is the outside room,” Johnson says. “To take advantage of the views, all condos, even the one-bedrooms, have at least 300 square feet of outside space. A glass wall between the interior great room and the deck will fold open to create a space of as much as 1,000 square feet.”

The deck will have an outdoor living area, barbecue and space for a dining table to seat eight people.

The interiors are designed to be elegant, understated and timeless, says interior designer Carly Norris of LNG Studios.

Using the region’s lakes as inspiration, prospective buyers can choose from three colour palettes: Okanagan, the darker option with darker floors and tiles in the bathrooms; Skaha, the lightest of three; and Kalamalka, the medium choice, featuring a mix of lighter colours with a medium-tone floor and darker countertops.

The sales centre features the Kalamalka scheme. In the kitchen, over-sized (four by eight-feet) ceramic slabs will ensure the backsplash is a standout feature as the darker quartz countertop complements the grey veining in the marble-look slabs. The cabinet doors and drawer fronts are flat panel in a warm grey, says Norris, while the hardware will be brushed nickel.

The standard major appliance package is by KitchenAid with a five-burner gas range, but buyers can upgrade to include some Blomberg appliances or even choose the ‘executive chef’ option with a Miele range.

While all homes include a beverage centre in the kitchen island, oenophiles can also opt for the sommelier package that includes a wine fridge and wine bar on the feature wall in the dining room.

Engineered hardwood floors – a brushed oak in the Kalamalka scheme – run throughout the living area, with carpet in the bedrooms and tiles in the bathrooms.

The ensuites feature a tub and shower with double sinks (in most units). To enhance design continuity in each colour scheme, the bathroom vanity features the same countertop as the kitchen. Underfloor heating keeps things cosy in cooler seasons.

In the larger homes, a separate laundry room includes a side-by-side washer and dryer, while the smaller units will have stacked appliances in a laundry closet, Norris says.

Ariva, built on Westbank First Nations land (Johnson has pre-paid a 125-year lease), is attracting attention from potential buyers from the Okanagan, Lower Mainland, Calgary and even Toronto, Johnson says.

Construction is expected to start in spring 2020.

Project: Ariva

Project address: 1770 Old Ferry Wharf Road, Westbank

Developer: Barry & Kevin Johnson-Ariva Resorts

Architect: M&M Architects

Interior designer: LNG Studios

Project size: Phase 1: 37 homes

Bedrooms: One + den; Two + den. Penthouses: Two + den; Three + den

Unit size: 1,040 – 2,319 square feet interior space only

Price: From $484,900 to +$1,799,900 million

Sales centre: 529 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna

Sales centre hours: noon — 4 p.m. or by appointment

Phone: 236-420-0693


© 2019 Postmedia Network Inc.

Ebb & Flow 109 homes at Lions Gate Village 1944 Fullerton Avenue North Vancouver by Woodbridge Homes and Citimark

September 14th, 2019

Ebb & Flow takes a location near urban amenities, minutes from North Shore?s natural draws

Simon Briault
The Vancouver Sun

Easy access to nature has always been one of Metro Vancouver’s most appealing traits. For as long as anyone can remember, homebuilders have touted the ability of residents to live and work in a modern, cosmopolitan setting and within minutes find themselves hiking on a nature trail, sunning themselves on a beach or playing in the snow on top of a mountain.

It’s in this context that Jamie Howard, president and principal of Woodbridge Homes, believes he’s on to a real winner with Ebb & Flow, a 109-home development from Woodbridge and Citimark at Lions Gate Village in North Vancouver.

“The community is on the Capilano River and all the trails that go up and down the river will be seconds from your front door,” said Howard. “They link all the way up to the salmon hatchery, the Cleveland Dam and Grouse Mountain – if you’re feeling energetic enough! On the west side of the river, you’ve got easy trail access to Park Royal, Ambleside Park and the West Vancouver seawall.”

“You can get very quickly into downtown – if you work there, for example – and very quickly back home again and into the natural beauty and recreational opportunities that the North Shore is famous for,” Howard added. “With this location, the value we’re offering here is pretty hard to beat.”

But location is not the only thing that the development has going for it, according to Paul Riches, a resident of North Vancouver who has bought a three-bedroom, two-bathroom townhome with his family at Ebb & Flow.

“The modern, contemporary style of the homes is very attractive,” said Riches. “They’re spacious, well laid-out, well-designed and they’re using good building materials. If you add everything up – lifestyle, location and amenities – there are very few boxes left unticked.”

Ebb & Flow offers three distinct types of homes: single-level garden homes, two-storey city homes and three-story townhomes. The homes have one to three bedrooms, range in size from 506 to 1,610 square feet and are priced from $479,900. Howard expects the homes to be move-in ready from the end of 2021 or early 2022.

“We pride ourselves on being very diligent professionals,” said Howard. “We spend a lot of time on design so that by the time the homeowner moves in they know that everything is going to work, that the rooms are going to be adequate sizes and they’re not going to have any nasty surprises. It’s pretty simple really, but it does take a lot of effort and professionalism to ensure the homeowner is left with highly functional spaces.”

“Our tagline is ‘feel right at home’ because it has a double meaning of feeling content at home and also that the home itself is built right. We focus a lot on old school quality and integrity.”

Kitchens at Ebb & Flow feature Bosch appliance packages, including gas cooktops, convection wall ovens, integrated refrigerators, stainless steel dishwashers and slide-out hood fans. There are Panasonic microwaves with trim kits, wood-tone cabinetry with soft-close mechanisms and easy-to-clean polished quartz countertops with tile backsplashes.

Bathrooms have polished quartz countertops on ‘floating’ vanities, equipped with deep drawers for ample storage. There are mirrored medicine cabinets with integrated lighting above the vanities in master ensuites, as well as porcelain tiled floors and herringbone accent walls in the showers. Secondary bathrooms have soaker tubs with backrests.

“The biggest attraction for many of the homes are the rooftop decks,” said Howard. “All the two- and three-level homes have them and it allows people to significantly expand their living spaces.”

Many of those roof decks will overlook the river and Howard said this tidal waterway is part of the reason why the development is called Ebb & Flow.

“But it’s also about growing up on the North Shore, leaving at some point to go to university or to live downtown, and then coming back a bit later in life when you want to raise a family,” Howard added. “A lot of people end up doing that. I know I did and we’re expecting many of our buyers to be following that pattern. Although we know Ebb & Flow will be very attractive for downsizers, if I had to pick a target market it would be the 20-somethings and the 30-somethings who are moving into a new stage of their lives.”

As for Riches, the townhome he’s bought at Ebb & Flow represents the continuation of a love affair with North Vancouver that began when he visited the city from the UK with his family 12 years ago and decided to make it his home.

“I remember looking across from the city to North Vancouver and you could see this wonderful scene of the mountains,” he said. “I could not believe I was in a city – that mountain view across the water, just a few minutes away.”

Ebb & Flow

Project location: Lions Gate Village (at Glenaire Drive & Fullerton Avenue)

Project size: 109 homes with between one and three bedrooms, ranging in size from between 506 to 1,610 square feet and priced from $479,900

Developer: Woodbridge Homes and Citimark

Architect: Ciccozzi Architecture

Interior designer: BYU Design Ltd.

Sales centre: 108-1171 Marine Drive, North Vancouver

Sales centre hours: noon to 5 p.m., Sat — Thurs

Sales phone: 604.818.1177


© 2019 Postmedia Network Inc.

Vancouver property investment has significantly slowed down this year

September 13th, 2019

CBRE data shows real estate investors avoiding Vancouver

Ephraim Vecina
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

Market and economic uncertainty has proven to be a damper on real estate investor activity in Vancouver, according to data from CBRE.

These factors have compounded the pressure from a lower number of renovictions and strict government policies – the Residential Tenancy Act, in particular. The latter measure has affected investors and apartment owners especially hard.

“It was just easier [for many investors] to do nothing,” CBRE executive vice president Lance Coulson said, as quoted by the Vancouver Sun.

“There were a lot of things going on in the market that created some uncertainty. A number of investors were on the sidelines … wanting to see what 2019 was going to bring.”

From January to June, apartment sales in the Vancouver region amounted to just over $400 million. This represented a pace far lower than last year’s, which enjoyed an overall 2018 total of $1.4 billion.

“Based on a few deals that have sold since June, and what I believe is currently in play, I estimate that total sales for year-end 2019 could be in the $850-million range,” Coulson predicted.

Extremely tight supply in the affordable housing segment remained a feature of the Vancouver market, with rental vacancy hovering around a mere 1% by the end of last year.

The recent edition of IPA’s Midyear Canadian Multifamily Investment Forecast Report also indicated that Vancouver remains the most expensive housing market in the country. The benchmark price for single detached homes currently exceeds $1.4 million, and the median mortgage payment is around $4,000 greater than the market’s average rental rate.

Copyright © 2019 Key Media Pty Ltd

Commercial real estate sales down from last year’s pace

September 13th, 2019

Lower Mainland commercial real estate down in Q2


Sales activity in the Lower Mainland’s commercial real estate market declined in the second quarter (Q2) of 2019 compared to the more active market experienced in the region last year.  

There were 407 commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2019, a 32.6 per cent decrease over the 604 sales in Q2 2018, according to data from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). 

The total dollar value of commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland was $1.463 billion in Q2 2019, a 65.6 per cent decrease from the $4.253 billion in Q2 2018. 

“The reduced activity in the commercial market has largely mirrored what we saw in the residential market through the first half of 2019,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said. “Residential demand did pick up in the summer months. How this change will affect the commercial market remains to be seen.” 

Q2 2019 activity by category 

Land: There were 103 commercial land sales in Q2 2019, which is a 54.8 per cent decrease from the 228 land sales in Q2 2018. The dollar value of land sales was $738 million in Q2 2019, a 69.1 per cent decrease from $2.388 billion in Q2 2018. 

Office and Retail: There were 179 office and retail sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2019, which is down 12.3 per cent from the 204 sales in Q2 2018. The dollar value of office and retail sales was $367 million in Q2 2019, a 57.8 per cent decrease from $870 million in Q2 2018. 

Industrial: There were 112 industrial land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2019, which is down 15.8 per cent from the 133 sales in Q2 2018. The dollar value of industrial sales was $206 million in Q2 2019, a 49.9 per cent decrease from $412 million in Q2 2018. 

Multi-Family: There were 13 multi-family land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2019, which is down 66.7 per cent over the 39 sales in Q2 2018. The dollar value of multi-family sales was $152 million in Q2 2019, a 73.9 per cent decrease from $583 million in Q2 2018.


Has BC speculation tax helped lower home prices?

September 13th, 2019

Some credit went to the speculation tax in lowering prices


Finance Minister Carole James is giving some credit to the speculation and vacancy tax for lowering home prices and easing rental vacancies in British Columbia.

James said Thursday she is cautiously optimistic about easing prices in the real estate market after announcing the province collected $115 million from the tax in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

“When you look at the price moderation we’re seeing, we’re certainly seeing a step in the right direction,” said James.

As of July, the average sale price of a home declined by 5.6 per cent this year, she said.

Housing affordability has been a key issue for the NDP since it took power two years ago. James said the speculation tax is part of its $6.5 billion plan to deliver 114,000 affordable homes in a decade.

As of Sept. 3, James said almost 12,000 homeowners were paying the tax. It is applied in communities in and around Victoria and Vancouver, as well as other areas that have had hot housing markets including Kelowna and Nanaimo.

“It is in fact targeting speculators, people living outside of B.C., and it’s also helping to encourage homes to be used to house people,” James said.

The Opposition Liberals questioned the effectiveness of the speculation tax, arguing it has done little to improve vacancy rates and has dampened development in communities.

“We have locally elected mayors telling (Premier) John Horgan that the speculation tax is not working in their communities and that it is reducing the construction of new and affordable homes for families,” finance critic Shirley Bond said in a news release.

James said more than 1.6 million tax declarations have been filed and 99.8 per cent of B.C. residents are exempt from the levy. A Ministry of Finance official said 17,600 property owners have not yet provided speculation tax declarations.

Of those paying the tax, the province says just over 4,500 were foreign owners, about 3,000 were classified as so-called satellite families, some 1,500 were Canadians living outside the province, and about 2,400 were B.C. residents. Satellite families are defined as those that earn most of their income outside of Canada.

British Columbia residents paid an average speculation tax of $2,557, while other Canadians paid $3,540. Foreign property owners paid $5,530 on average and satellite families paid $6,333.

James was scheduled to meet in Vancouver on Thursday with mayors about the speculation tax, including some who say it hurts development and punishes people with second properties.

Prof. Tsur Somerville, a real estate expert at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder school of business, said the minister’s meeting with mayors was necessary to exchange ideas.

“One of the challenges for the government is there’s a really large variation across jurisdictions in terms of exposure to vacant homes that have positive or negative effects on the local economy,” he said. “For the more tourism-focused areas, those vacant homes are actually part of the local economy in ways that might not be the same as downtown Vancouver.”

West Kelowna and the tiny Vancouver-area village of Belcarra have demanded exemptions from the tax.

James said her meeting with mayors could result in changes to the tax this fall, but she made no promises.

She said she understands there is opposition to the tax but “we’re going to do what’s necessary to be able to address the housing crisis and we’re not going to shy away from that.”

Jason Turcotte, vice-president of Vancouver’s Cressey Development Corp., said efforts to lobby the government to drop plans to start charging the tax on vacant development land have so far been unsuccessful.

“You can’t force someone to develop something when it doesn’t make sense,” he said. “Sometimes in our business we have to wait and hold.”

The tax rate for 2018 was 0.5 per cent of the assessed value for all properties, rising to two per cent in 2019 for foreign owners and satellite families, while Canadian citizens or permanent residents continue to pay 0.5 per cent.

The government said the average assessed home value of properties that are subject to the tax is $1.45 million.

James said the money collected from the tax will be used to help fund affordable housing projects in the communities where it is applied.

Justin Trudeau said at an election campaign stop in Victoria on Thursday that if his government is re-elected it will impose a national one per cent tax on properties owned by non-Canadians and non-residents to curb foreign speculation in real estate.

Copyright © 2019 Key Media Pty Ltd


Metro Vancouver land deals claim a greater share of investment sales in Q2

September 13th, 2019

Boom in strata industrial is biggest story in Lower Mainland, but less so across B.C.

Peter Mitham
Western Investor

While the tally of investment sales greater than $1 million in Metro Vancouver has dropped significantly this year, the second quarter saw a greater volume of land deals.

According to the latest figures from Altus Group, residential and non-residential land sales accounted for 56.2 per cent of the $1.6 billion in deals done in the three months ended in June. This was up from 47.9 per cent of a slightly lower volume of sales in the first quarter. Both tallies are below levels of a year ago, when land accounted for 60 per cent of overall transaction value.

Non-residential land sales accounted for the largest slice of transactions in the second quarter, at 28.9 per cent, or $462 million. The top deal was the sale of 10.3 acres in Port Coquitlam for $20.7 million, slightly lower than the regional average of $2.4 million per acre.

The big story of the quarter, however, was the well-documented rise of strata industrial properties, which accounted for 74 of the 98 industrial transactions Altus recorded. Pricing maxed out at $705 per square foot, double the regional average of $350 a square foot.

However, overall transaction volumes in the first half of the year were down. Transaction values in the first six months of the year totalled just short of $3.2 billion, down from $6.9 billion a year earlier – a 53.6 per cent drop.

Commercial transfers

Property transfer data from the B.C. Ministry of Finance underscores the drop in commercial sales during the first half of 2019.

According to the province, 877 commercial property transfers took place in the first half of 2019, down 12.6 per cent from 1,003 transfers in the first half of 2018. Despite the reported surge in strata industrial sales, overall sales of non-residential strata properties saw an equivalent decline, dropping 12.5 per cent to 525 in the period.

However, overall sales of industrial properties picked up. The tally for the first half of 2019 was 129, up from just 86 a year earlier – a 50 per cent increase.

The regular provincial report doesn’t give a value for the transactions. However, it does note participation by foreign buyers.

This year, participation levels seem to have dropped, with foreign nationals involved in just 12 commercial property transfers in the first half of the year. This compares with 41 transactions involving foreign nationals a year ago.

Copyright © Western Investor

B.C. residential sales ‘continue to recover’ from policy shock: BCREA

September 12th, 2019

BCREA also reported that the average residential price in the province was $685,575 last month, an increase of 2.6 per cent from August 2018. The increase in both prices and activity last month meant that total sales dollar volume was $4.86 billion, a 7.6

Joannah Connolly
Western Investor

Residential resale transactions across B.C. “continue to recover” from the policy shock and subsequent downturn caused by the mortgage stress test, the B.C. Real Estate Association stated September 12.

Home sales around the province totalled 7,093 in August, which is 4.9 per cent higher than in August 2018

BCREA also reported that the average residential price in the province was $685,575 last month, an increase of 2.6 per cent from August 2018. The increase in both prices and activity last month meant that total sales dollar volume was $4.86 billion, a 7.6 per cent jump from the same month last year.

The graph below shows how policy announcements have affected the province’s real estate market, with the foreign buyer tax introduced in August 2016 (although sales were falling from the first half of 2016) and then sales falling off a cliff in January 2018, when the mortgage stress test was launched.

“B.C. home sales continue to recover from a policy-driven downturn,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA’s deputy chief economist. “Home sales have been rising through the spring and summer, but still remain well below pre-B20 stress test levels.”

The association also reported that “overall market conditions remained in a balanced range with a sales-to-active listings ratio of about 18 per cent.”

The August sales and price statistics follow BCREA’s September 5 forecast for the housing market into 2020. It predicted that the slow sales in the first half of the year would bring the province’s overall activity through 2019 down, but that sales and prices would both modest recover in 2020.

To read the full August sales, price and listings statistics broken down by each B.C. board region, click here.

Copyright © Western Investor

Housing Demand Continues to Recover in August

September 12th, 2019

August home sales up 4.9% from last year


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,093 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August, an increase of 4.9 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $685,575, an increase of 2.6 per cent from August 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $4.86 billion, a 7.6 per cent increase from the same month last year.

BC home sales continue to recover from a policy-driven downturn,” said BCREA Deputy Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. Home sales have been rising through the spring and summer, but still remain well below pre-B20 stress test levels.”

MLS® residential active listings in the province were up 10 per cent from August 2018 to 40,098 units and were essentially flat compared to July on a seasonally adjusted basis. Overall market conditions remained in a balanced range with a sales-to-active listings ratio of about 18 per cent.      

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 16 per cent to $34.9 billion, compared with the same period in 2018. Residential unit sales were 12.2 per cent lower at 50,806 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 4.4 per cent year-to-date at $686,303.