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Strong housing sales continue in August

VANCOUVER, B.C. September 2, 2005 - Sales of residential properties continued to be active in August, with strong sales being posted during what is normally a quieter time in the housing market.

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, residential sales of detached, attached and apartment properties through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) totaled 3,649, a 44.9 per cent increase over August 2004 when there were 2,518 sales. Year-to-date sales total 28,817, a 9 per cent increase compared to 26,442 sales during the same period in 2004.

"MLS© records indicate that these figures are the highest on record for the month of August," says REBGV President Georges Pahud. "New apartment and townhome sales are contributing to these volumes. The strong market over the past couple of years, combined with the need to accommodate population growth and corresponding density, has given the building community the impetus to increase condo and townhome development in suburban areas.

"While we continue to see strong consumer confidence in the real estate market, affordability is still a concern for some buyers," Pahud says. "It's important to note that more than 60 per cent of all sales in August were below the average price for all residential property types. A professional REALTOR® can help consumers locate affordable properties. They have access to comprehensive sources of information and can help their clients find out which areas and price ranges suit them best."

According to the MLS©, sales of detached properties in August 2005 totaled 1,564 units, an increase of 49.2 per cent compared to 1,048 sales in August 2004. The benchmark price of a detached home increased to $548,809, up 13.3 per cent from a year ago.

Sales of attached properties increased 52.9 per cent, with 601 units sold in August 2005 compared to 393 units sold the same month last year. According to the Board's Housing Price Index (HPI), the benchmark price of an attached property reached $339,031, up 10.4 per cent from 2004.

Sales of apartment properties increased 37.8 per cent in August 2005 to 1,484 sales, compared to 1,077 sales in August 2004. The benchmark price of an apartment property in Greater Vancouver is $271,595, up 17.4 per cent from one year ago.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in August 2005 compared to August 2004:
Attached:
Burnaby up 97.8% (91 units sold, up from 46)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadowsup 61.4% (71 units sold, up from 44)
Richmond up 66.7% (125 units sold, up from 75)
Vancouver East up 33.3% (44 units sold, up from 33)
Vancouver West up 62.7% (83 units sold, up from 51)
Apartments:
Burnaby up 28.2% (191 units sold, up from 149)
Coquitlam up 32.8% (77 units sold, up from 58)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 107.1% (29 units sold, up from 14)
New Westminster up 106.6% (126 units sold, up from 61)
Port Coquitlam up 50% (36 units sold, up from 24)
Richmond up 61.2% (187 units sold, up from 116)
Vancouver East up 34.1% (169 units sold, up from 126)
Vancouver West up 28% (503 units sold, up from 393)
Detached:
Burnaby up 50.5% (143 units sold, up from 95)
Coquitlam up 94.4% (173 units sold, up from 89)
Delta - South up 45.2% (61 units sold, up from 42)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 63.4% (165 units sold, up from 101)
North Vancouver up 45.3% (93 units sold, up from 64)
Port Coquitlam up 48.5% (49 units sold, up from 33)
Richmond up 54.7% (212 units sold, up from 137)
Sunshine Coast up 38.4% (101 units sold, up from 73)
Vancouver East up 41% (244 units sold, up from 173)
Vancouver West up 35.7% (156 units sold, up from 115)
West Vancouver/Howe Sound up 62.3% (86 units sold, up from 53)

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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