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August 2, 2000

Board president urges government action to improve BC economy

VANCOUVER — Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president, Bill Phillips, thinks that the current strength of the high-tech industry has transcended into the real estate industry but is cautious how long the trend will continue. "Higher incomes in the technology field allow for strong home buying power, which is fuelling a new urban lifestyle; however, current government policies have put this trend at risk," Phillips said.

The British Columbia real estate market lags other parts of Canada and Phillips says the government needs to make policy improvements now. "We need a call to action from our provincial government, because their current policies are preventing B.C. from experiencing the industrial and economic growth that is happening in other provinces."

Phillips concluded by saying "The active Realtor is concerned that the momentum spurred by the technology industry is unable to thrive in B.C.'s poor economic climate."

BC Stats reports that high tech industry is growing in B.C. and two-thirds of the province's high tech jobs are located within the Lower Mainland.

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's Housing Price Index (HPI), year over year benchmark prices for detached, attached and apartment properties have shown no change, in spite of a 20 per cent overall decline in the residential real estate market.

The July MLS® sales statistics reveal a decline in Greater Vancouver detached home sales of 16.2 per cent. July sales of 942 units were down 182 units from the same time last year. The HPI benchmark price showed no change and remains steady at $342,770.

The Board also reports that attached property sales dipped 10.3 per cent to 280 units from 312 units sold in July 1999. The benchmark price remains a stable $218,240.

Sales of apartment properties fell 190 units or 30.8 per cent in July compared to summertime housing activity experienced one year ago. The July benchmark price also held constant at $159,260.

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