The province-wide slowdown in the BC housing market continued in January. Sales were down 33 per cent compared to the same month last year, while the average home price was down just under 8 per cent.
A large part of that is due to the stress tests on mortgages, according to BC Real Estate Association Chief Economist Cameron Muir.
“Pulled as much as 20 per cent of the purchasing power out of the many potential buyers and that doesn’t go on without seeing an impact,” he said. “Many markets now are showing signs of buyers market territory which means some downward pressure on prices, but many other markets are firmly in balance territory – prices rising around the rate of inflation plus or minus 2 per cent a year.”
Kamloops was a little better off with sales down 16 per cent in January. “The Kamloops market has been far more immune from the stress test,” Muir added. ” Kamloops prices, while they had grown, they weren’t at a level which was already severely unaffordable.” “When we look at the economy in BC, it’s still doing extremely well and those markets are much more tied to the economic fortune such as Kamloops and the north. It’s certainly fairing much better.”
In total, there were 3,546 residential unit sales in January with an average price of $665,590 across the province. The average sale price in Kamloops, Murie noted, was around $367,500, down about 4 per cent. Total sales was $2.36 billion in January, a 38.4 per cent decline from the same month last year.