Vancouver home prices rise in June on competition for condos

Realtors' signs are hung outside a newly sold property in a Vancouver neighbourhood September 9, 2014. REUTERS/Julie Gordon

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Home sales in the Vancouver area fell in June compared with the year before, while prices jumped as demand for condominiums in the Canadian city led to bidding wars, data showed on Wednesday.

The benchmark price for all types of residential properties in Metro Vancouver was C$998,700 ($769,240) in June, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said in a report. That marks an increase of 1.8 percent from the previous month and a gain of 7.9 percent from June last year.

The once-hot market of Vancouver, the country’s most expensive, has seen sales slow as it adjusts to a foreign buyers tax put in place by the provincial government last August amid concern that speculation from overseas buyers was leading to a housing bubble.

Sales fell 11.5 percent in June from a year ago when a record number of homes were sold, the industry group said. Sales were also down 10.8 percent on a monthly basis, though they were still 14.5 percent above the 10-year sales average for June.

Condominium prices were being lifted by multiple offers from competing buyers, while demand for detached homes has eased to more typical levels, Jill Oudil, the real estate board’s president, said in a statement.

Prices for detached homes were up 1.4 percent from last June, while the benchmark price for apartments jumped 17.6 percent.

Total home listings in the west coast city were up 9 percent from a year ago, despite a 2.6 percent decrease in new listings.

($1 = 1.2983 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Lisa Shumaker