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New Year brings balance to real estate market

VANCOUVER, B.C. February 3, 2005 – Housing sales and listings activity in January showed a continuation of the balanced market Greater Vancouver experienced through the latter half of 2004. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that overall sales of detached, attached and apartment properties decreased by 14 per cent to 1,681 units sold in January 2005, compared to 1,954 sales in January 2004.

"We are experiencing a good steady market," says Andrew Peck, REBGV president. "Sales are active and there is a healthy supply of listing inventory. This is good for buyers who waited for the market to balance away from the frenzied pace we saw early last year.

"The move-up market is still propelling real estate sales; we're now seeing second and third time buyers starting to impact the market at higher prices," Peck says. "At present, 21 per cent of the active residential listings in Vancouver are priced under $250,000, well below the provincial average of $304,250 and the Greater Vancouver average of $383,272. There are excellent opportunities to enter the market all over Greater Vancouver, and that's great news."

According to Multiple Listings Service data, sales of apartment properties decreased 11.2 per cent in January 2005 to 741 sales, compared to 788 sales in January 2004. The benchmark price of an apartment property in Greater Vancouver, calculated by the *MLSLink® Housing Price Index, is $238,523, up 11.7 per cent from one year ago.

Sales of attached properties decreased 16.6 per cent in January 2005 to 277 units sold, compared to 332 units in January 2004. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $309,798, up 13.9 per cent from January 2004.

Sales of detached properties totaled 663, a decrease of 15.9 per cent compared to 788 sales in January 2004.

The benchmark price of a detached home increased to $482,233 up 8.6 per cent from a year ago.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in January 2005 compared to January 2004:
Attached:
Vancouver East up 54.5% (34 units sold, up from 22)
Apartments:
Burnaby up 54.9% (110 units sold, up from 71)
Vancouver East up 19.4% (80 units sold, up from 67)
Detached:
Vancouver East up 10.5% (116 units sold, up from 105)

The Real Estate Industry is a key economic driver in British Columbia. In 2003, dollar volume sales of homes province-wide set a new record at more than $24 billion. Based on this figure, BC home sales in 2003 generated over $1.8 billion in spin-offs. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is an association representing more than 7,600 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 impact the real estate consumer.

*In August 2004, the Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley boards upgraded our existing MLS® systems to a common system called MLSLink. MLSLink® HPI is the latest version of the Board’s Housing Price Index (HPI) and is designed to accommodate the MLS® upgrade and improve the legacy HPI product. For more information on real estate, statistics, and buying or selling a home, 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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