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Greater Vancouver experiences robust housing market

VANCOUVER, B.C. May 3, 2005 – Demand for housing remains strong in Greater Vancouver, as demonstrated by vigorous April homes sales. Sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 4,043 units in April 2005, a decrease of 1.5 per cent compared to last April's sales of 4,103, and an increase of 30.6 per cent compared to April 2003.

"The market is strong, with sales up compared to 2003 year to date sales and just slightly lower than 2004's record-breaking activity," says Georges Pahud, REBGV president. "The number of listings for April was slightly lower than the same time last year, while demand remains high across all three residential property types.

"The demand is driven by a continuing combination of factors, including low interest rates, positive job market, and consumer confidence in the economy and in the real estate market."

According to Multiple Listings Service (MLS®) data, sales of detached properties increased 3.8 per cent to 1,749 units compared to 1,685 sales in April 2004, and listings totaled 2,340 compared to 2,544 last year. The benchmark price of a detached home increased to $518,607, up 9.5 per cent from a year ago.

Sales of attached properties decreased 3.9 per cent in April 2005 to 619 units sold, compared to 644 units in April 2004, while listings decreased slightly from 843 in April 2004 to 826 last month. The benchmark price of an attached unit rose to $325,852, up 10.6 per cent from April 2004.

Sales of apartment properties decreased 5.6 per cent in April 2005 to 1,675 sales, compared to 1,774 sales in April 2004, with 2,287 listings in April 2004 compared to 2,565 last month. The benchmark price of an apartment property in Greater Vancouver, calculated by the Board's Housing Price Index, rose to $254,121, up 11.5 per cent from one year ago.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in April 2005 compared to April 2004:
Attached:
Richmond up 14.7% (156 units sold, up from 136)
Apartments:
Burnaby up 45% (219 units sold, up from 151)
New Westminsterup 62.9% (114 units sold, up from 70)
Richmondup 38.1% (272 units sold, up from 197)
Detached:
Coquitlam up 17.4% (175 units sold, up from 149)
South Delta up 32% (66 units sold, up from 50)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 16.1% (173 units sold, up from 149)
Vancouver East up 11.9% (311 units sold, up from 278)

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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