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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 3rd, 2003

Home buyers/sellers take advantage of low interest rates

Vancouver, BC - The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties decreased 4.4 per cent to 3,279 units in May 2003, compared to 3,429 sales in May 2002. The May 2003 figures represent an increase of 21.3 per cent compared to May 2001, when 2,703 sales were recorded, and an increase of 5.9 per cent over last month with 3,095 sales.

"The market remains steady as we head into summer. Residential real estate sales are slightly lower than last year, but still significantly higher than previous years," says Bill Binnie, REBGV president.

"The great news for buyers and sellers is that interest rates are continuing at record lows. Mortgage rates are the lowest we've seen in over 50 years."

According to Multiple Listings Service data, sales of apartment properties increased 4.1 per cent in May 2003 to 1,211 sales compared to 1,163 sales in May 2002. This is an increase of 56 per cent in comparison to the 776 sales recorded in May 2001.The benchmark price of an apartment property in Greater Vancouver, calculated by the Board's Housing Price Index, is $194,220, up 9.5 per cent from one year ago.

Sales of detached properties totaled 1,568 a decrease of 11.1 per cent compared to 1,764 sales in May 2002, and an increase of 4.9 per cent compared to May 2001 when 1,495 sales were recorded. The benchmark price of a detached home increased to $418,060, up 9.6 per cent from a year ago.

Sales of attached properties remain relatively unchanged with 500 units sold in May 2003, compared to 502 units in May 2002. Sales of attached properties increased 15.7 per cent compared to the 432 attached units sold in May 2001. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $268,830, up 10.8 per cent from May 2002.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in May 2003 compared to May 2002:
Sunshine Coastup 20% (84 units sold up from 70)

Port Moody/Belcarra up 50% (21 units sold, up from 14)
Burnaby up 37.2% (81 units sold, up from 59)
Richmond up 9.8% (101 units sold, up from 92)

Port Coquitlam up 73.6% (33 units sold, up from 19)
Coquitlam up 55.7% (81 units sold, up from 52)
Vancouver East up 22.1% (116 units sold, up from 95)
Vancouver West up 18.2% (499 units sold, up from 422)

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 may impact the real estate consumer.

For more information please contact:

Eileen Day, Manager of Communications
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Phone: (604) 730-3028 Fax: (604) 730-3102

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