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Consumer demand continues to steer market

Vancouver, BC - Consumer demand continues to steer the residential real estate market in Greater Vancouver. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties increased by 11.1 per cent to 3,066 units sold in February 2004, compared to 2,760 sales in February 2003.

"There is no doubt that we are still experiencing a strong market," says Bill Binnie, REBGV president. "Sales activity is higher than normal for this time of year. Consumer confidence remains strong and we continue to see first-time buyers and investors stepping into the market."

"Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's recent move to relax the rules regarding minimum down payments will likely further motivate first-time buyers, in particular, to enter the housing market."

According to Multiple Listings Service data, sales of apartment properties increased 19 per cent in February 2004 to 1,263 sales, compared to 1,061 sales in February 2003. The benchmark price of an apartment property in Greater Vancouver, calculated by the Board's Housing Price Index, is $227,890, up 20 per cent from one year ago.

Sales of attached properties increased 31.5 per cent in February 2004 to 534 units sold, compared to 406 units in February 2003. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $303,200, up 16.5 per cent from February 2003.

Sales of detached properties totaled 1,269 a decrease of 1.9 per cent compared to 1,293 sales in February 2003. The benchmark price of a detached home increased to $469,080 up 15.3 per cent from a year ago.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in February 2004 compared to February 2003:
Detached:
North Vancouverup 9.3% (118 units sold, up from 108)

Attached:
Coquitlam up 65.6% (53 units sold, up from 32)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 45.5% (64 units sold, up from 44)
Richmond up 46% (111 units sold, up from 76)
Vancouver East up 100% (42 units sold, up from 21)
Vancouver West up 18.3% (71 units sold, up from 60)

Apartments:
Coquitlam up 32.8% (85 units sold, up from 64)
New Westminster up 64.7% (84 units sold, up from 51)
North Vancouver up 12.5% (108 units sold, up from 96)
Port Coquitlam up 142% (46 units sold, up from 19)
Richmond up 43.3% (192 units sold, up from 134)
Vancouver East up 19.4% (111 units sold, up from 93)
Vancouver West up 6.3% (436 units sold, up from 410)

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 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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