B.C. market's August strength not indicative of near-future trends

Sales and property prices increased, but BCREA is not expecting this progression to last

B.C. market's August strength not indicative of near-future trends
In its latest data release, the association representing realtors in British Columbia announced that home sales remained healthy across the province in August, but added that it is expecting to see trends shift over the coming months.

The B.C. Real Estate Association said that 9,162 residential properties were sold in August, representing a 2.4-per-cent increase compared with the same period last year.

The total dollar value of all sales climbed significantly to $6.2 billion, a 22-per-cent jump from August 2016. Meanwhile, the average property price was up 19.1 per cent in the same time frame, up to $678,186.

Association chief economist Cameron Muir pointed to strong economic conditions propelling the August sales, which he said mirrored figures in July on a seasonally adjusted basis.

However, Muir warned that climbing mortgage rates and home prices could dampen housing markets this fall.

“Rising home prices combined with upward pressure on mortgage interest rates is expected to temper demand over the balance of the year,” Muir stated in a news release.

Year-to-date figures in 2017 were still overshadowed by the sizzling first half of last year’s residential property market in B.C., with sales dollar volume down 15.9 per cent to $51.8 billion when compared with the first eight months of 2016.

Residential sales dipped 15 per cent over the same period, while the association said the average property price was down 1.1 per cent to $706,839.

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