Vancouver Hasn't Seen This Few Homes Change Hands Since 2013

(Bloomberg) -- Home sales in Canada’s third-largest city are still declining after the provincial government introduced new housing measures earlier this year.

Sales in Greater Vancouver fell 8.6 percent in March from a month earlier to 2,108 transactions, the fewest since 2013, data released Friday by the Canadian Real Estate Association show. That’s in contrast to the broader Canadian market, which showed signs of stabilizing in March. Aggregate prices in Vancouver still ticked up, rising 1.1 percent on the month.

Sales in the Pacific Coast city may fall further as buyers come to grips with stiffer taxes on purchases by foreigners and a new levy on vacant homes, steps unveiled by the British Columbia government in February to deal with property speculation. “We expect this market to begin stabilizing towards the end of the year, or in early-2019,” Michael Dolega, an economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, wrote in a note to clients.

Benchmark prices, meanwhile, are up 16 percent in Vancouver from a year earlier, the CREA data show.

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