There’s no rebound for BC sales as stress test weighs

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

B-20 impacts BC housing market

Steve Randall
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

The British Columbia housing market continues to struggle with the impact of the B-20 mortgage guidelines.

The stress test that was introduced more than a year ago is still weakening demand with home sales in February down 27% year-over-year to 4,533 according to MLS data from the British Columbia Real Estate Association.

Prospective homebuyers continue to be sidelined by the mortgage stress test,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Deputy Chief Economist. “As a consequence, and despite a strong BC labour market, sales remained slow in February.”

Prices are weaker too with a 9.3% decline for the average sales price in the province last month to $678,625; and this, together with lower sales meant a total dollar sales volume of $3.08 billion, down 33% year-over-year.

Remaining hopeful
Despite the figures, Ogmundson remains optimistic that things will improve in the coming months.

Falling mortgage rates should provide some relief for homebuyers, providing a small boost to affordability heading into the spring,” he said.

Potential homebuyers will have more choice as active listings increased 36.5% to 30,891 units compared to February 2018. The ratio of sales to active residential listings declined from 27.4% to 14.7% over the same period.

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