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Hottest year on record for Greater Vancouver housing sales

Vancouver, BC - Following a succession of record-breaking months, it's no surprise that 2003 was the hottest year on record for the Greater Vancouver residential housing market. With housing sales reaching 37,816 for the year, the next highest annual total was 36,415 in 1989.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties increased by 11.9 per cent in 2003 compared to 33,792 sales in 2002.

"Two recurring factors had a significant influence on the market throughout 2003. Month after month, we continued to see historically low interest rates combine with pent-up demand to fan an already healthy housing market," says Bill Binnie, REBGV president.

"This activity was a continuation of a strong 2002 market, but was further fueled by confidence in the economy, heightened interest in real estate as an investment, and excitement during a year in which we won the Olympic bid."

According to Multiple Listings Service data for the period between January 1 and December 31, 2003, sales of apartment properties increased 24 per cent to 14,842 sales, compared to 11,967 sales in 2002. Sales of attached properties increased 14.3 per cent to 5,842 units sold, compared to 5,113 units in 2002. Sales of detached properties totaled 17,132 in 2003, an increase of 2.5 per cent compared to 16,712 sales in 2002.

Housing sales for December 2003 also remained strong, during a period which is typically quieter leading into the holiday season. Sales for December 2003 increased 10.4 per cent to 2,434 in comparison to 2,205 in December 2002.

Sales of apartment properties increased 16.9 per cent to 1,025 sales in December 2003 compared to 877 sales in December 2002. The benchmark price of an apartment property in Greater Vancouver, calculated by the Board's Housing Price Index, is $213,140, up 14.1 per cent from one year ago.

Sales of attached properties increased 22.6 per cent in December 2003 to 407 units sold, compared to 332 units in December 2002. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $284,080, up 15.7 per cent from December 2002.

Sales of detached properties remained relatively unchanged from one year ago, at 1,002 in December 2003 compared to 996 sales in December 2002. The benchmark price of a detached home increased to $449,190, up 15.1 per cent from 2002.

"As we move into the New Year, consumers interested in buying or selling a home should talk to their local REALTOR® to gain a good understanding of the factors currently influencing the housing market," Binnie advises.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in December 2003 compared to December 2002:
Delta South up 41.9% (44 units sold, up from 31)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 14.1% (113 units sold, up from 99)
Port Moody/Belcarra up 61.5% (21 units sold, up from 13)

Coquitlam up 30.8% (34 units sold, up from 26)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 67.9% (47 units sold, up from 28)
Port Coquitlam up 107.7% (27 units sold, up from 13)
Richmond up 72.6% (107 units sold, up from 62)

Delta South up 81.8% (20 units sold, up from 11)
Port Coquitlam up 42.9% (30 units sold, up from 21)
Richmond up 112.6% (185 units sold, up from 87)
Vancouver East up 53.1% (98 units sold, up from 64)
West Vancouver/Howe Sound up 90% (19 units sold, up from 10)

The Real Estate Industry is a key economic driver in B.C. In 2002, it generated nearly 1.6 billion in the community. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is an association representing over 6,900 REALTORS®. The Real Estate Board provides a variety of membership services, including the Multiple Listing Service, and works with industry affiliates to address issues that June impact the real estate consumer. For information on real estate, statistics, and buying or selling a home, visit

For more information please contact:

Eileen Day, Manager of Communications
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Phone: (604) 730-3028 Fax: (604) 730-3102

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