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Home sales in B.C. return to 'historic averages' says real estate board

VANCOUVER — The British Columbia Real Estate Association says the province's housing market has tumbled from record highs posted in 2016 to return to what it calls historic, long-term averages.

The association says 4,487 condos, townhomes and detached homes sold in B.C. in January, down 23 per cent compared with the same period last year.

The total sales value also dropped 36.5 per cent over the same period to $2.79 billion, while the average home price was off 17.5 per cent to $621,093.

Figures from the real estate association show the change was most pronounced in Vancouver where fewer detached homes sold and sales of all property types made up just 35 per cent of sales across B.C., an eight per cent decrease from January 2016.

With fewer expensive, single-family homes changing hands compared with condos or townhomes, the association's news release says the average price of a property in the Vancouver area skewed downward.

It says the residential benchmark price in Greater Vancouver declined 3.7 per cent over the last six months, but record hikes last year mean prices are still 15.6 per cent higher than they were in January 2016.

"A marked decrease in the average residential price (across B.C.) is largely the result of relatively more home sales occurring outside of the Lower Mainland," association chief economist Cameron Muir says in the release.

He said Victoria's sales showed above average performance in January, but overall, the market is returning to long-term average levels. 

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