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Home sales drop, prices continue to rise

The mortgage stress test continues to take a toll on housing sales throughout the province, and Vancouver Island is no exception.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board said sales of single-family homes in January dropped by 28 per cent from one year ago, however, they did rise by 23 per cent from December 2018.

Last month, 209 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service System compared to 170 in December and 290 one year ago.

The Board said the 2018 housing market behaved as expected, moderating after the record-setting pace set in 2016 and 2017 as a result of the mortgage stress test.

That change, the Board said eroded the purchasing power of some prospective home buyers by as much as 20 per cent.

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Despite the decrease in home sales, the benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was just over 500,000 dollars in January, a nine per cent increase from one year ago but a slight drop from December.

Last month, Duncan reported a benchmark price of just over 469,000 dollars, up 10 per cent from January 2018.

Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose five per cent to just about 542,000 dollars while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 12 per cent to just about 580,000 dollars.

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