A tradesperson works on a balcony at a condo tower under construction, in Burnaby, B.C., on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. The British Columbia Real Estate Association says the sharp increase in mortgage rates is pushing the province's home sales down "a path to normalizing," although it estimates a balanced market is at least a year away. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Higher interest rates push homes sales in B.C. back toward normal: association

British Columbia Real Estate Association estimates a balanced market is at least a year away

The British Columbia Real Estate Association says the sharp increase in mortgage rates is pushing the province’s home sales down “a path to normalizing,” although it estimates a balanced market is at least a year away.

The association has released the B.C. home sales figures for April, showing 8,939 properties changed hands last month, a decrease of 34.9 per cent from the record high set in April last year.

However, prices continue to climb, averaging $1.065 million in April, a 12.9 per cent increase over the same period in 2021.

Association chief economist Brendon Ogmundson says fewer homes are listed for sale, meaning market conditions remain tight, but listings are “starting to accumulate” in some markets.

The April report shows the number of sales to active listings still remains far above 20 per cent in all B.C. regions, putting continued upward pressure on prices.

The association says provincial active listings were 7.5 per cent lower in April than in the same month last year, but Ogmundson predicts the trend will reverse as demand fades.

“Canadian mortgages have sharply increased, surpassing four per cent for the first time in a decade,” says Ogmundson.

“With interest rates rising, demand across B.C. is now on a path to normalizing,” he says in the statement released Thursday.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: CREA reports home sales down in March, average price up 11.2 per cent from year ago

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