British Columbia

Metro Vancouver home prices drop 2.8%

Metro Vancouver's real estate market is continuing to cool, with prices and sales dropping from their April highs, according to the latest figures released by the region's real estate board.

Metro Vancouver's real estate market is continuing to cool, with prices and sales dropping from their April highs, according to the latest figures released by the region's real estate board.

"Since the 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," according to the August summary released by the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board on Thursday.

But with an average price of $576,597, housing prices still remain nearly seven per cent higher than August 2009, says the board.

The number of homes listed for sale and the number of homes sold also declined in August, said the board.

"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," said the statement.

Over the long term, the figures show the region's real estate market was subject to some wild fluctuations as the economic crisis gripped the market.

"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," it said.

But board president Jake Moldowan said prices seem to be stabilizing in the market, in part because of demand from foreign buyers.

"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," he said.

 "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," he said.

Canada remains an attractive destination for foreign buyers, "a fact that continues to affect activity in the Greater Vancouver housing market," Moldowan said.

now