B.C. home prices virtually unchanged in April: report

Real estate association says prices rose by just 0.2 per cent compared to same time last year

Home prices across B.C. showed little change in April, according to the BC Real Estate Association.

In figures released Monday, the association said the average home price rose by just 0.2 per cent compared to April of last year, up to $730,507.

Some regions saw bigger increases, with Chilliwack prices going up by 16 per cent, Fraser Valley prices by 10.2 per cent, southern Okanagan prices by 15.9 per cent and Vancouver Island prices by 11.3 per cent.

However, sales were down 17 per cent across the province compared to the same time last year.

BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir said the new mortgage regulations have made buyers wary, but they have been adjusting.

The new rules, known as the “stress test,” mean all borrowers must now qualify for a mortgage based on either the five-year benchmark rate or their lender’s actual rate plus two per cent, whichever is higher. The change will apply to all mortgages, new or renewed, even if the down payment exceeds 20 per cent.

“The impact of more burdensome mortgage qualifications for conventional borrowers is expected to soften over the next several months as potential buyers adjust both their finances and expectations,” he said.

For the first four months of 2018, home sales dropped by 12 per cent, although the average price rose 5.7 per cent to $731,661.


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