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February sees BC real estate market returning to average after a red-hot 2016

When compared to last year, BC’s February real estate market was down by every measure, according to the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA).

Number of sales decreased by a third and the average sale price – at $688,117 – was down by more than 10%. Total sales decreased by $4.5 billion – a drop of nearly 40%.

But Cameron Muir, Chief Economist with the BCREA, says there’s no need to panic.

“The overall economy in the province is still doing quite well. Overall last year was the third year in which we saw 3% GDP growth or more job growth across the province has been quite strong and population growth typically from migration from other provinces as strong as well.”

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Muir says the decreased numbers reflect demand for housing returning to more typical levels after a hot couple of years. Overall, February’s home sales are close to average for BC.

However, northern BC bucked the recent provincial trend.

“ Overall sales were up 5% from a year ago and continue on a relatively robust footing particularly given some of the weaker demand for commodities. Prices, overall, are up across the north – about to 4% compared to a year ago.”

Province wide, prices declined by nearly 12 percent compared to last year and the total value of homes sold went down by nearly 40 percent.

Muir says the drop is a result of declining demand – saying the numbers are more in line with the early 2000s than recent red-hot demand.

He believes outside factors will bolster the numbers in due time.

“We do see the US economy continuing to improve as well as the expectation of improvement on the global economy is likely going to add some consumer confidence as well as demand going forward.”

Year-to-date, the total value of home sales went down 38% at $7.3 billion, when compared with the same period in 2016. The number of homes sold declined 28%  to 11,067 units, while the average home price was down 14% per cent to $660,943.


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