Blog by Mark Longpre

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Increased buyer demand steadies Vancouver's real estate market

VANCOUVER, BC - A continued increase in buyer activity over the last four months has resulted in increased home sales and lessened the downward pressure on housing prices in Greater Vancouver.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that the number of residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 3,524 in May 2009, an increase of 17.4 per cent from the 3,002 sales recorded in May 2008, and an increase of 18.9 per cent compared to last month.

Since the beginning of the year, the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver has increased 4.5 per cent to $506,201 from $484,211. However, home prices compared to May 2008 levels are down 10.9 per cent.

“The increased level of buyer activity over the last few months has had a stabilizing effect on home prices across our region,” Scott Russell, REBGV president said. “MLS® data continues to show a trend toward a balanced market in the region.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined in Greater Vancouver, down 36 per cent to 4,733 in May 2009 compared to May 2008, when 7,390 new units were listed. At 13,641, the total number of property listings on the Multiple Listing Service® declined 4.7 per cent compared to last month and 16 per cent compared to May 2008.

Sales of detached properties increased 16.5 per cent to 1,402 from the 1,203 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The HPI benchmark price for detached properties declined 11.8 per cent from May 2008 to $680,320.

Sales of apartment properties in May 2009 increased 17.2 per cent to 1,458, compared to 1,244 sales in May 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 10.2 per cent from May 2008 to $349,987.

Attached property sales in May 2009 are up 19.6 per cent to 664, compared with the 555 sales in May 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 9 per cent between May 2008 and 2009 to $435,848.