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Home sales down in B.C. on annual basis, up nationwide

By Joannah Connolly for Vancouver Courier

After a brief flurry of activity in May, home sales in B.C. in June saw a typical early summer decline, according to statistics released July 14 by the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA).

The BCREA reported that 6,960 residential unit sales were recorded by the province’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in June, a drop of 15.3 per cent from May’s 8,221 sales.

It’s also a decline of 11.8 per cent compared with the same month last year, according to the association.

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BCREA hinted that sales could have been higher if the qualifying interest rate for borrowers was less onerous and had eased in line with declining mortgage rates (see graph below). “B.C. home sales moderated lower in June after a stronger showing in May,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA’s deputy chief economist. “While mortgage rates offered by lenders have moved below three per cent, a static qualifying rate has limited the impact of the lower cost of borrowing.” The comment follows BCREA’s study findings issued July 10, which reported that sales in 2018 would have been 10 per cent higher without the mortgage stress test.

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