Debbie Sheppard has been in the real estate business for more than 20 years. (Special to The News)

Debbie Sheppard has been in the real estate business for more than 20 years. (Special to The News)

Local apartment sales drop by 42 per cent

Listings and sales prices in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows for July continue to decline

The housing market downturn continues in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, as apartment sales fall to almost half of what they were in June.

This downward trend continues across all property types, with detached and attached homes seeing three-per- cent and nine-per-cent declines in sales, respectively.

Sale prices have also dipped within the past month, with apartments, attached, and detached homes seeing an average price reduction of five per cent or more.

Despite this continued decline, local realtors like Debbie Sheppard remain optimistic about the housing market.

“The market certainly isn’t dead, there’s still plenty of buyers out there,” she said.

But in order for people to buy homes, there needs to be properties listed, which is becoming rarer in local markets.

In Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, detached, attached, and apartment listings lowered by 30 per cent, 38 per cent, and nine per cent, respectively.

The percentage of the listed properties that sold also decreased, with apartments being hit the hardest at a 22-per-cent reduction in sales to listings.

“People are trying to figure out if it’s better to buy today, at the current mortgage rate, or wait for home prices to get even lower,” said Sheppard.

“But there’s also that interest hike coming in the fall, so it’s a bit of a teeter-totter effect.”

The upcoming rise in interest rates is widely speculated to be an increase of between 0.5 to 1.0 per cent, bringng it up to between 3.0 and 3.5 per cent. The Bank of Canada will make its official announcement Sept. 7.

In the meantime, according to the lastest statistics from the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board, sale prices fell across all three property types locally last month. Detached homes decreasing in value an average of $88,000 to $1.2 million, attached falling an average of $42,200 to $748,300, and condos dropping $27,500 – bringing them to an average $500,000.

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