British Columbia’s hot real estate market is slowing down, and at a faster rate than expected in some areas. Forecasters have been predicting it all along, citing the Bank of Canada’s increase in mortgage rates and tougher lending rules. It is the rate of the slow down, and faster than expected decrease in home values that raised real estate industry eyebrows.
Metro Vancouver is feeling the pinch, registering only 2,255 sales this past July. This is 45 percent less than July of 2009 and the third lowest July in the last decade. The Fraser Valley saw a 47 percent decrease with only 1,101 sales listed, making this their slowest July in the last ten years.
As far as price, in Metro Vancouver, the average home price fell to $793,193, a 0.2 percent decrease. The Fraser Valley saw a decrease of 1.5 percent in the detached-home market, with average prices being $510,470. What was a sellers market is now turning into a more balanced scenario with a slight advantage going to the buyer.
Some brokers, such as Chris LeMay in Vancouver are doing more refinancing work than closing new mortgage deals. His office has noted an increase in people that are looking at the current economy with a more critical eye. The uncertainty is with how much more the mortgage rates will go up and how much further property values will fall.