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March sales spring into action

VANCOUVER, B.C. April 4, 2005 – Continued demand drove Greater Vancouver home sales to near record highs last month. Sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 3,938 units in March 2005, a decrease of 9.9 per cent compared to last March's record-breaking 4,371 sales, and an increase of 19.2 per cent compared to March 2003.

"March home sales were the second highest in 11 years," says Georges Pahud, REBGV president. "It's worth noting that the number of properties listed on MLS© in March 2005 is correspondingly lower than the number listed in the same month last year. The exceptions are a few areas such as Burnaby and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows, where new developments accounted for a parallel increase in listings and sales.

"There are a number of factors continuing to drive this market: low interest rates, on-going net interprovincial immigration, high employment figures, and increasing confidence in the economy in general and in real estate in particular, whether as a home or as an investment."

According to Multiple Listings Service (MLS©) data, sales of detached properties totaled 1,651, a decrease of 4.6 per cent compared to 1,730 sales in March 2004, and listings totaled 2,268 compared to 2,393 last year. The benchmark price of a detached home increased to $503,141, up 7.7 per cent from a year ago.

Sales of attached properties decreased 4.4 per cent in March 2005 to 646 units sold, compared to 676 units in March 2004, while listings decreased from 870 in March 2004 to 757 last month. The benchmark price of an attached unit rose to $319,756, up 10.9 per cent from March 2004.

Sales of apartment properties decreased 16.7 per cent in March 2005 to 1,641 sales, compared to 1,970 sales in March 2004, with 2,450 listings in March 2004 compared to 2,058 last month. The benchmark price of an apartment property in Greater Vancouver, calculated by the Board’s Housing Price Index, rose to $248,762, up 11.1 per cent from one year ago.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in March 2005 compared to March 2004:
Attached:
Port Coquitlam up 35.3% (46 units sold, up from 34)
Apartments:
Burnaby up 35.7% (175 units sold, up from 129)
North Vancouver/FONT>up 25.6% (147 units sold, up from 117)
Detached:
Vancouver West up 17.6% (200 units sold, up from 170)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 17.5% (188 units sold, up from 160)

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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