British Columbia is running out of first-time buyers, despite falling prices. Government of British Columbia filings show first-time homebuyers made a small increase in June, compared to the month before. However, this increase wasn’t big enough to reach last year’s levels. The province continues the multi-year trend of declining first-time homebuyers.
B.C. First-Time Homebuyers Drop Over 15%
B.C. saw a mild bounce in first-time buyers last month, but the number in the province is still on the slide. There were 1,115 first-time buyer’s in June, up 38.3% from the month before. However, this number is still down 15.1% compared to the same month last year. A lot higher than the month before, but still not close to clearing last year’s number.
B.C. First-Time Homebuyers
The number of first-time homebuyers in B.C. per month.
Source: Government of B.C., Better Dwelling.
The decline is a small improvement from the month before, some of it may be delayed demand. Since the beginning of the pandemic, first-time buyers have been on the slide. It wasn’t until May when a massive 38.3% decline hit the market. The bump in June is likely some buyers delayed from the month before. However, this won’t be clear until a few months down the road.
First-Time Buyers Have Declined For Several Years
The pandemic did contribute to the decline, but this is a much more long-term trend. There were 5,517 first-time buyers year-to-date (YTD) in BC, down 7.85% compared to the same period last month. In 2019 though, the YTD sales during the same period were down 8.5% from a year before. Home prices in Greater Vancouver, the province’s largest market, peaked in 2018.
B.C. started the year with more first-time buyers, but that was quickly derailed by the pandemic. There was a small bounce last month, but it wasn’t even close to meeting last year’s levels. The first-time buyer drop isn’t due entirely to the pandemic, since this has been a multi-year trend.
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