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Vancouver leads country with 117% gain in re-sales

VANCOUVER — Metro Vancouver’s dramatic 117-per-cent increase in home resales in August compared to August 2008 led a national rebound in the real estate market. According to statistics released by the Canadian Real Estate Association, 42,483 homes changed hands across Canada via the Multiple Listing Service Systems in August 2009. University of B.C. real estate expert Tsur Somerville said Metro Vancouver’s dramatic bounce is surprising, but it is important to remember that sales here peaked higher, then dropped more quickly and more steeply than in other parts of the country. “So we’re coming back from much more of a nadir than is the case of other provinces,” said Somerville, who is director of the centre for urban economics and real estate in UBC’s Sauder School of Business. “In some sense, it’s the way that some people have described the recession, very steep but surprisingly short,” he said. “In some sense, our housing sales numbers really reflect that.” The CREA summarizes statistics reported by real-estate boards across the country. They showed that in August, Metro Vancouver had the biggest jump in home resales across the country, at 117 per cent. In B.C., the 8,565 homes sold in August represented a 67-per-cent increase from the same month a year ago compared with Alberta, where the 5,407 homes sold represented a 7.5-per-cent increase from a year ago. Ontario saw 18,067 homes sold in August, a 16-per-cent increase and Quebec saw 5,709 homes sold, which was a 5.2-per-cent increase. Nationally, the 42,483 sales in August represented an 18.5-per-cent increase from the same month last year, and the third consecutive year-over-year gain of more than 15 per cent, according to the news release. Sales were 6.6 per cent below the record for the month of August set in 2007. Aggregate MLS home sales activity for 25 major markets posted the third consecutive increase from year-ago levels of more than 20 per cent in August. The national MLS residential average price rose 11.3 per cent from year-ago levels to $324,779, according to the release. The seasonally adjusted dollar volume of all residential MLS sales also set a record in August 2009, rising 1.5 per cent from the previous month to $14 billion.