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Home sales slow as interest rates take a toll on the market

Rising interest rates are taking a toll on the housing market.

That from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s (VIREB) report for October. The board represents over 1,100 real estate professionals at 90 offices on Vancouver Island, north of the Malahat.

Board Chair Kelly O’Dwyer says the month was slower than expected, continuing the trend of the past few months.

“High interest rates and a mortgage stress test of eight per cent are taking a toll on demand,” she says.

The toll is so extreme that the British Columbia Real Estate Association anticipates that VIREB will close the year with 7,100 home sales, which is the lowest number posted since 2013.

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O’Dwyer says she’s hearing that people are waiting to engage in the market.

She says, “[Members] are reporting that some buyers and sellers have already decided to wait until spring to buy or list their home, hoping that interest rates will drop.”

As for market prices, their board-wide benchmark price for a single-family home was $767,600, which was up three per cent from October 2022, and down one per cent from September 2023.

The market for a single family home in different markets on the Island were as follows:

  • Campbell River – $658,500 – up five per cent from October 2022
  • Comox Valley – $839,700 – up seven per cent
  • Cowichan Valley – $772,600 – up one per cent
  • Nanaimo – $802,500 – up two per cent
  • Parksville-Qualicum – $881,700 – up two per cent
  • Port Alberni – $509,200 – down two per cent
  • North Island – $412,000 – down six per cent
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