Employment in B.C.’s real estate industry remains strong despite considerably muted market activity, according to data from Statistics Canada.
Overall sector employment in B.C. was at 35,169 individuals in January. While this was a slight tick downward compared to the month prior, the January figure was 3% higher on an annual basis.
The volume of licensees registered with the Real Estate Council of British Columbia has shown no signs of shrinkage, as well. The figure was 25,987 as of December 31, 2018, falling from the previous quarter’s 26,023 but increasing by 4% from the 24,951 a year earlier.
These numbers came amid a 39% decrease in residential transactions across Greater Vancouver during the year-over-year period ending January 31, Western Investor reported.
The British Columbia Real Estate Association noted that 5,707 sales transpired through its MLS in March, declining by 23% annually.
Prices have also fallen by 5.4%, with the average sales cost now at $687,720. Total sales volume stood at $3.9 billion, with a 27.1% decline from March 2018.
“B.C. home sales continue to be adversely impacted by federal mortgage policy,” BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir explained.
“The erosion of affordability caused by the B-20 stress test has created near-recession level housing demand despite the province boasting the lowest unemployment rates in a decade.”