Jolanda Beare

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Greater Vancouver home sales trend toward buyers’ market over summer

VANCOUVER, B.C. - September 2, 2011 - August marked the third consecutive month that home sale activity in Greater Vancouver was below the 10-year average for the month. In contrast, home listing activity in the region has exceeded the 10-year norm every month since the beginning of the year.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties on the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) reached 2,378 in August. This total represents an eight percent increase compared to the 2,202 sales in August 2010, but also ranks as the third lowest total for August in the last 10 years.
“MLS® statistics continue to indicate that we’re in a balanced market,” Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said. “However, with a sales-to-actives listings ratio of 15 percent, Greater Vancouver is in the lower end of a balanced market and has been trending toward a buyers’ market over the past three months.”
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,685 in August. This represents a 24.9 percent increase compared to August 2010 when 3,750 properties were listed for sale on the MLS® and an eight percent decline compared to the 5,097 new listings reported in July 2011. Last month’s new listing total was the highest volume recorded for August in 16 years.


At 15,437, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 1.4 percent in August compared to July 2011 and rose 0.1 percent compared to this time last year. The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased 8.5 percent to $625,578 in August 2011 from $576,597 in August 2010.


“Year over year, prices are up. However, in the detached home category, benchmark prices have come down slightly in each of the past two months,” Setticasi said. “It’s important for people entering the market to understand that activity can differ significantly depending on the area and property type.”

Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in August 2011 reached 1,020, an increase of 14.2 percent from the 893 detached sales recorded in August 2010, and a 25.4 percent decrease from the 1,367 units sold in August 2009. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 11.7 percent from August 2010 to $888,243.
Sales of apartment properties reached 955 in August 2011, a 2.1 percent increase compared to the 935 sales in August 2010, and a decrease of 34.8 percent compared to the 1,464 sales in August 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 5.6 percent from August 2010 to $407,457.
Attached property sales in August 2011 totalled 403, a 7.8 percent increase compared to the 374 sales in August 2010, and a 33.9 percent decrease from the 610 attached properties sold in August 2009. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 4.5 percent between August 2010 and 2011 to $511,433.