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Conditions in the Greater Vancouver housing market continued to favour buyers in August. Since April, prices have edged down slightly as the number of sales and the number of properties coming on to the market have been declining.
 
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that the number of residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,202 in August 2010. This represents a 36 per cent decline from the 3,441 sales in August 2009, the second highest selling August ever recorded, and a 2.4 per cent decline compared to July 2010.
 
From a wider perspective, last month’s residential sales represent a 40.4 per cent increase over the 1,568 residential sales in August 2008, a 34.9 per cent decline compared to August 2007’s 3,384 sales, and a 26.6 per cent decline compared to August 2006’s 2,998 sales.
 
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined 17.5 per cent to 3,750 in August 2010 compared to August 2009 when 4,544 new units were listed. Total active listings in Greater Vancouver currently sit at 15,421, a 6.1 per cent decline from last month and a 29 per cent increase from August 2009.
 
“We’re seeing moderate demand, low interest rates and a healthy but slowing stream of supply in our marketplace, all variables that favour those looking to purchase a home,” Jake Moldowan, REBGV president said. “The last few months have also shown some stability when it comes to price fluctuations in the region, which is a welcome trend after reaching record highs in April.”
 
Since spring, housing prices have decreased 2.8 per cent compared to the all-time high reached in April when the residential benchmark price was $593,419. Over the last 12 months, the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver increased 6.9 per cent to $576,597 in August 2010 from $539,600 in August 2009.
 
“Canada remains an attractive destination for foreign buyers, a fact that continues to affect activity in the Greater Vancouver housing market,” Moldowan said.
 
Sales of detached properties in August 2010 reached 893, a decrease of 34.7 per cent from the 1,367 detached sales recorded in August 2009 and a 66.9 per cent increase from the 535 units sold in August 2008. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 8.5 per cent from August 2009 to $795,076.
 
Sales of apartment properties reached 935 in August 2010, a decline of 36.1 per cent compared to the 1,464 sales in August 2009 and an increase of 26.4 per cent compared to the 740 sales in August 2008.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 4.5 per cent from August 2009 to $385,968.
 
Attached property sales in August 2010 totalled 374, a decline of 38.7 per cent compared to the 610 sales in August 2009 and a 27.6 per cent increase from the 293 attached properties sold in August 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 6.6 per cent between August 2009 and 2010 to $489,511.

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Simon Fraser
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