Housing sales slowed a bit between June and July

Housing sales slowed a bit between June and July

Vancouver Island home sales ‘cool’

The pace of home sales slowed ‘somewhat’ last month, according to the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board

The pace of home sales slowed ‘somewhat’ last month, according to the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, but the month still closed with a 19 per cent increase over July 2015.

This years tally was 608 single-family homes through the MLS system (VIREB covers all the Island north of Greater Victoria); that compares to 512 homes sold last July.

But the month-over-month column showed a 15 per cent decrease in sales from the 712 homes that sold in June.

The report goes on to note that July’s active listings were down 34 per cent from the previous year – 1,577 compared to 2,391 – and were more than a thousand short of June’s inventory of 1,629.

“This is a historic low for VIREB, which began tracking inventory levels in 1999,” says a VIREB release. “The last time inventory was this low was in 2005, when the number of single-family homes for sale dropped to 1,629.”

BC Real Estate Association Chief Economist Cameron Muir said it’s too early to know if the Foreign Buyer Tax that has been implemented in Vancouver will affect prices in other parts of the province.

He noted as well that usually slower housing sales during the summer can be expected.

“The housing market is usually slower in the summer months, but we believe that sales might be beginning to normalize,” Muir said. “If so, that would allow inventory to build up and ease pricing pressure a bit.”

For now, though, the ‘benchmark price’ of housing has continued to climb, although there is a range of pricing available.

“The benchmark price of a single-family home ranges from a low of $209,600 in Port Alberni to a high of $443,800 in the Parksville-Qualicum area, so there is a price to suit almost everyone,” said VIREB President Margo Hoffman.

Duncan reported a benchmark price of $326,700, an increase of just over nine per cent compared to July 2015; Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 15.46 per cent to $409,700.