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Uptick in Vancouver Island home sales bucks trend, as Metro Vancouver market tumbles

VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – The real estate slump in Metro Vancouver hasn’t made its way across the Strait of Georgia.

While housing sales in the Vancouver region are at their lowest levels in six years, the island saw a slight uptick in sales from September to October, according to newly release stats from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB).

On Vancouver Island, sales of single-family homes in October were 11 per cent higher than in September.

But it isn’t all good news for sellers, as sales dipped by 16 per cent last month compared to October 2017.

Last month, 385 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service System compared to 347 in September and 458 one year ago.

The number of apartments and townhouses changing hands across Vancouver Island in October dropped by eight and 21 percent, respectively.

This year’s housing market has moderated after the record-setting pace set in 2016 and 2017.

According to the VIREB, the cooling of the market can be attributed to government policy-side measures including the mortgage stress test and higher interest rates, which the board says “are taking their toll on housing sales throughout the country.”

Homes are taking longer to sell and there are more listings, which the VIREB notes creates a more balanced market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,966 in October 2018, a 34.9 per cent decrease from the 3,022 sales recorded in October 2017, and a 23.3 per cent increase compared to September 2018 when 1,595 homes sold.

Given the shift in the market, VIREB president Don McClintock has some advice for sellers.

“Realistically pricing your home is important in any market, but when fewer buyers are competing for a property, sellers need to be prudent when determining a sale price,” McClintock said. “Overpriced homes take longer to sell, so it’s a good idea to consult a local realtor who can help determine the optimal price for your property.”

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