Metro Vancouver’s house sales cooling off

Metro Vancouver home sales reached 3,225 in April, an 8.2-per-cent drop from April 2010 and a 21-per-cent decline from March 2011.

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, the numbers reflect a “solid” month of sales following the near-record pace in the two previous months.

“While it continues to be a seller’s market in Greater Vancouver, last month’s activity brought greater balance between supply and demand in the overall marketplace,” REBGV president Rosario Setticasi said in a statement. “The year-over-year decline in April sales can be attributed to a less active condominium market, as there were more detached and townhome sales this April compared to last year.”

In individual markets, the REBGV survey concluded that Richmond saw the sharpest benchmark price increase over the past year for single detached homes (18.5 per cent to $1.08 million), while Squamish saw the sharpest decline over the year (down 8.6 per cent to $447,000).

The numbers were the same over three years, with Richmond experiencing a 40.9-per-cent increase in prices during that period, while Squamish recorded a 24.5-per-cent decrease in prices over three years.

Vancouver West had the highest benchmark price in April ($1.97 million), while the average benchmark price for a detached home in Metro Vancouver stood at $879,000.

The REBGV survey also noted that new listings totalled 5,847 units in April, a 23.5-per-cent decline compared to April 2010 when 7,648 properties were listed for sale – a record for April. April’s listings were also 14 per cent lower than March 2011.

At 14,187, the total number of residential property listings increased 8.2 per cent in April compared to last month and 10 per cent less from April 2010.

“There’s considerable variation in activity within the communities in our region,” Setticasi added. “This is causing home price trends to differ depending on the area.”

The benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver increased five per cent over the past year to $622,991 in April 2011 from $593,419 in April 2010.

Source: Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun

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