Tighter Regulation Trims Home Sales, BCREA

Vancouver, BC – October 15, 2012. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that the dollar volume of homes sold through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC declined 28.5 per cent to $2.2 billion in September compared to the same month last year. A total of 4,539 MLS® residential unit sales were recorded over the same period, down 24.3 per cent from September 2011. The average MLS® residential price was $494,213, down 5.6 per cent from a year ago.

MLS Residential Sales BC September 2012“Stricter high-ratio mortgage regulation further exacerbated a moderating trend in consumer demand,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Reducing the maximum amortization from 30 to 25 years had the equivalent impact to affordability as a 100 basis point increase in mortgage interest rates.”

“An expanding population, strong full-time employment growth and persistent low mortgage interest rates are expected to bolster housing demand in the months ahead,” added Muir.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume declined 18.5 per cent to $28.4 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales declined 10.6 per cent to 54,670 units, while the average MLS® residential price was 8.9 per cent lower at $519,289.

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