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January 3, 2003

Real estate was BC's bright light in 2002

Vancouver, BC - The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that overall sales for 2002 of detached, attached and apartment properties increased 21.4% per cent to 33,792 sales in 2002 compared to 27,825 in 2001.

"The continued strong market throughout the year can be attributed to several factors," says Stephanie Corcoran, REBGV president. "Consumers took advantage of historically low interest rates, throughout the year, to ease the pent-up demand for housing. Real estate also became a solid investment alternative, for many people, during a year of uncertainty in the stock market.

According to Multiple Listing Service data, sales of apartment properties rose sharply in 2002, with a 36.2 per cent increase to 11,967 sales in comparison to 8,789 apartment sales in 2001.

"Condominiums continue to be an affordable housing option for many buyers, as well as an attractive option for investors," Ms. Corcoran says.

Sales of both detached and attached property types also remained strong throughout 2002. Sales of detached properties totaled 16,712 in 2002, up 14.1 per cent compared to 14,653 sales in 2001. Sales of attached properties were up 16.7 per cent to 5,113 from 4,383 in 2001.

The month of December 2002 was quieter, with sales of detached, attached and apartment properties totaling 2,205, down 7.9 per cent in comparison to 2,394 sales during the same period in 2001.

Sales of apartment properties rose to 877 in December 2002, up 2.7 per cent compared to 854 apartment sales in December 2001. The benchmark price of an apartment property in Greater Vancouver, calculated by the Board's Housing Price Index, is $186,920, up 12.3 per cent from one year ago.

Sales of detached properties were down 11.8 per cent from the same period last year, with 996 sales in December 2002 compared to 1,129 sales in December 2001. The detached properties benchmark price for Greater Vancouver is $386,200, up 8.2 per cent compared to a year ago.

Sales of attached properties totaled 332 in December 2002, a decrease of 19.2 per cent from the 411 attached units sold in December 2001. The attached properties benchmark price for Greater Vancouver is $245,410, up 6.6 per cent compared to a year ago.

Several bright spots were noted in Greater Vancouver communities in December 2002 compared to December 2001:
Detached:
Burnaby up 7.9% (109 units sold from 101)
Richmond up 5.3% (120 units sold from 114)
Sunshine Coast up 41.7% (51 units sold from 36)

Apartments:
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 81.8% (20 units sold from 11)
New Westminster up 8.7% (50 units sold from 46)
Richmond up 5.3% (120 units sold from 114)
Vancouver West up 18.5% (384 units sold from 324)

The REBGV is an association representing some 7,000 Greater Vancouver REALTORS®. It provides a variety of membership services, including the Multiple Listing Service, to effectively serve the real estate needs of the community. The REBGV cooperates with other industry affiliates by addressing issues that may impact the real estate consumer. For the most comprehensive source of real estate, statistics, home buying and selling information, visit www.realtylink.org.

For more information please contact:

Eileen Day, Manager of Communications
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Phone: (604) 730-3028 Fax: (604) 730-3102
E-mail: eday@rebgv.org



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