The British Columbia Real Estate Association says fewer homes were sold across the province in 2017 compared with the year earlier, but it says prices were up and sales remained above 100,000 for the third straight year.
The association’s snapshot of 2017 residential sales shows 103,763 properties changed hands, down 7.5 per cent from the 2016 record of 112,211.
The total dollar value of all sales also slipped 5.1 per cent to $73.63 billion but the association says the average price of a home nudged up 2.7 per cent to $709,579.
December was also a strong month for sales, as seasonally adjusted purchases jumped four per cent from November, although the association says year-end results may reflect buyers hurrying to avoid tougher mortgage qualification rules in January.
A total of 5,738 sales were recorded across B.C. in December, an increase of 21.5 per cent over the same period last year, with the average residential price province-wide set at $734,108, a leap of 12.1 per cent from December 2016.
Association chief economist Cameron Muir says B.C.’s strong economy, employment growth and rising wages supported the healthy demand for housing in 2017.
“Above trend migration, both international and interprovincial, also bolstered housing demand,” he says.
Condominium sales in urban centres and sales of all types of properties in retirement-oriented communities were also fuelled by B.C.’s changing and aging population, the association says.