"It was like, OK, fine, you can't afford a single-family home".
With absorption rates low, the total number of homes now listed in Metro Vancouver is 10,275, a 47.7 per cent increase compared with the low inventory of December 2017. By contrast, the benchmark price in the suburb of Pitt Meadows showed a year-over-year gain of 2 per cent to $912,000. Meantime, prices for single-detached houses sank 7.8 per cent to $1,479,000, nearly all of it since June according to the REBGV. The numbers show a marked slowdown in the market with 7,150 properties changing hands in 2018, a 20 per cent drop from the 8,994 sold in 2017. "Also, the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality where there have been decreases in the range of 20 per cent or more".
The board also reported on statistics for December alone, in which Metro Vancouver home sales plunged year-over-year by 46.8 per cent to 1,072 units. They also hide any price declines seen in the single-family home sector, especially the high end of the market, as value gains at the lower, more populous end of the market and in the condo sector more than cancelled those out overall.
The average assessment of a single-family home last year was $1,149,000 which climbed $1,222,000 in this year's report. That's down 31.6 per cent from almost 36,000 in 2017 and 25 per cent below the region's 10-year average.
Looking at our most immediate neighbours, Quesnel's average value went up eight per cent and Wells went up 11 per cent, to the south; Vanderhoof went up three per cent and Fraser Lake up 17, to the west; McBride dropped by one percent but Valemount jumped 18 per cent, looking east; while Mackenzie and Chetwynd both held even, to the north.
Vancouver-area home sales a year ago were the lowest since 2000, according to an industry group.
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"The question is when will the sellers scream uncle", Mr. Yan said in an interview, noting that prices are still holding steady in some suburbs farthest away from the city of Vancouver. In December, there were 375 sales of all property types, down from 462 in the same month in 2017.
The benchmark price of a townhouse rose 1.3 per cent year-over-year to $809,700, while the benchmark price of a condominium gained 0.6 per cent to $664,100.
New Westminster is still a star performer in the condo market, with benchmark prices up 7.4 per cent year over year, followed by Tsawwassen (+6.5 per cent) and Ladner (+5.8 per cent).
Home prices vary widely in different areas throughout the region. That shift is significantly lower than anticipated increases in neighbouring municipalities such as Port Coquitlam (16 per cent), New Westminster (14 per cent), Coquitlam (13 per cent) and Burnaby (12 per cent).
West Vancouver Realtor Brent Eilers of Remax Masters Realty cautioned the relationship between assessed value and sale prices isn't always as direct as it would seem. "Fine, you'll move over to condos", he said.