Vancouver home sales slow in February as prices gradually decrease

Young professionals leaving Vancouver over high cost of housing
A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver on June, 12, 2018. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says its profit dropped in the latest quarter as the national housing market began to show signs of cooling off. The country's largest mortgage insurer says it earned net income of $387 million for the three months ending on Sept. 30, down from $467 million for the same period a year earlier. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward

The local real estate board says the benchmark price of a detached home in Metro Vancouver fell nearly 10 per cent year over year as more sellers listed properties, but house hunters continued to take their time in February.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says nearly 28 per cent fewer detached properties sold last month compared with February 2018, and the benchmark price dropped 9.7 per cent to $1,443,100.

Across all residential property types, sales dropped 32.8 per cent compared with a year ago and were 42.5 per cent below the 10-year February sales average.

The benchmark price for all residential properties fell 6.1 per cent to $1,016,600 over the same time frame, with condominium prices down four per cent to $660,300 and townhomes down 3.3 per cent to $789,300.

The board says sales for apartments fell nearly 36 per cent in February 2019 compared with the same month in 2018 and townhome sales declined nearly 31 per cent.

There were just shy of 3,900 new residential property listings last month _ down 7.8 per cent compared with the same month the previous year _ and the sales-to-active listings ratio for the month was 12.8 per cent.

The board says there is typically downward pressure on property prices when that ratio falls below 12 per cent “for a sustained period.”