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April 1, 1999

Real estate sales reach 20 month high

VANCOUVER - The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that housing sales in the detached category increased by 30 per cent, with 1,209 units sold compared to 919 sold in March 1998. This is the third consecutive month of increased sales activity in this category.

Overall sales for Greater Vancouver detached, attached and apartments increased by 20 per cent compared to March 1998. According to the Board's Housing Price Index (HPI), a benchmark or typical, price of a detached home in Greater Vancouver is remained steady at $338,630, down slightly from a year ago.

Total March residential sales reached 2,169 units, the highest number of sales since July 1997 when sales peaked at 2,221 units.

Coinciding with the upswing in the real estate market, is the Bank of Canada's announcement of a reduction to the bank rate by 25 bases points. The recent drop has prompted financial institutions to decrease mortgage rates.

"This is the turning point people have been waiting for; anyone considering entering the real estate market should act now," says Dick Coates, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver."

Housing prices have remained steady in the attached or townhouse category. Housing sales increased by 19 per cent, with 343 units sold in March 1999, compared to 287 units sold the same month last year. The benchmark price of a townhouse in Greater Vancouver is $214,620

Apartment sales were up by four per cent, with 617 units sold in March 1999, compared to 592 units sold in the same month last year. The benchmark price for an apartment in Greater Vancouver is $151,080.

The overall market for the first quarter of 1999 has been has shown an increase of 12 percent from the first quarter of 1998. Bright spots over the last quarter in the Greater Vancouver market include:

Vancouver West - detached sales increased by 16 percent, attached sales increased by 31 percent and apartment sales increased by 13 percent.

Burnaby - significant sales increases in all areas and in all categories

Port Moody - detached sales increased by 68 percent, apartments sales increased 28 percent, attached sales also increased

Delta- attached sales increased by 50 percent and apartment sales increased by 20 percent

Richmond - detached sales improved by 22 percent

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is an association of Realtors committed to providing its 8,000 members with the structure and services to ensure a high standard of business practices and ethics, and to effectively serve the real estate needs of the community. For the most comprehensive source for real estate listings, statistics and community information, contact your local Realtor, pick up a copy of REBGV's RealtyLink - In Print or visit the RealtyLink - On Line website at www.realtylink.org.

For more information contact:
Mary-Lynn Garrett, Public Relations Coordinator
Phone: (604) 730-3029 Fax: (604) 730-3102

marylynnj@rebgv.org or (604) 730-3029.

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