The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) is out with it's latest housing market update for the province. The discussion is on market activity for December 2023.
Some key points from the video update include:
- Home sales in December 2023 across BC were up by 2.6% for the month compared with the same month in 2022
- For the year 2023 as a whole, sales across the province were down by 9.2% compared to 2022
- 2023 was the lowest year for sales in a decade
- Active listings have been trending up for 8 straight months across the province but remain historically low
- The sales-to-active-listings ratio is in balanced territory; neither buyers nor sellers are seeing a notable advantage right now
- As of December, the average home price in B.C. was $965,000 which was up 6.5% year over year
It is clear that mortgage rate levels are tempering market activity. There is some anticipation among economists that mortgage rates will trend lower during 2024. If that in fact unfolds, we may see at least an initial burst of pent-up demand from buyers waiting on the sidelines. The big question remains just how much lower rates might trend down.
As always, homebuyers should make purchase decisions that fit comfortably within their budgets and ability to sustain ownership over the long-term. Overextending oneself is a risky proposition. Having said that, there are some pockets of relative affordability in places like Mission, Chilliwack and Sardis, if one's budget is limited.