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Real estate sales enjoy buoyant market

Vancouver, BC, March 2, 2005 – Housing sales for February 2005 mirrored last February's busy market with high sales activity in a strong housing market. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that 3,068 detached, attached and apartment properties sold in February 2005, compared to 3,067 sales in February 2004.

"We experienced the same ‘higher than normal’ sales activity at this time last year," said Andrew Peck, REBGV president. "Sales volumes tend to be higher in February than in January. However, these are healthy sales figures compared to the moderate sales we saw in the fall. And we see the same movement in other major cities right across Canada.

"Low mortgage rates and confidence in the job market are still the leading factors in housing affordability," Peck says. "Though the average price of a home is more today than five years ago, the low rates combined with an increase in household income and job longevity has made homes more affordable for more people. Consumers continue to choose real estate as the best place to put their money."

According to Multiple Listings Service data, sales of apartment properties increased 4.9 per cent in February 2005 to 1,327 sales, compared to 1,265 sales in February 2004. The benchmark price of an apartment property in Greater Vancouver, calculated by the *MLSLink® Housing Price Index, is $242,421, up 11.4 per cent from one year ago.

Sales of attached properties decreased 1.5 per cent in February 2005 to 525 units sold, compared to 533 units in February 2004. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $314,145, up 11.9 per cent from February 2004.

Sales of detached properties totaled 1,216, a decrease of 4.2 per cent compared to 1,269 sales in February 2004. The benchmark price of a detached home increased to $491,821, up 9.4 per cent from a year ago.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in February 2005 compared to February 2004:
Attached:
Burnaby up 23.9% (83 units sold, up from 67)
Port Moody/Belcarra up 50% (24 units sold, up from 16)
Vancouver East up 73.8% (73 units sold, up from 72)
Apartments:
Burnaby up 56.3% (186 units sold, up from 119)
Coquitlamup 17.6% (100 units sold, up from 85)
Port Moody/Belcarra up 66.7% (25 units sold, up from 15)
Vancouver Eastup 28.8% (143 units sold, up from 111)
Detached:
Burnaby up 19.4% (123 units sold, up from 103)
Coquitlam up 8.6% (126 units sold, up from 116)
Vancouver East up 7.6% (199 units sold, up from 185)

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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