British Columbia

Vancouver's June real estate sales drop

Housing sales in the Vancouver area have dropped by more than 30 per cent compared to June 2009, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said Tuesday.

Housing sales in the Vancouver area have dropped by more than 30 per cent compared to June 2009, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said Tuesday.

There were 2,972 sales in June 2010, a decline of 30.2 per cent compared to the 4,259 sales in June 2009, which was the second highest selling June on record, board president Jake Moldowan said in a release.

But compared to June 2008, when the market was in the midst of a real estate downturn, last month's sales represent a 22.6 per cent increase.

Last month's sales also marked a 5.8 per cent decline compared to the sales totals in May.

"The number of new listings coming on the market is not as dramatic as we saw over the previous three months," Moldowan said. "Demand remains at a healthy level for this traditionally quieter time of year."

The board's sales and price figures include all homes north of Vancouver up to Whistler, as far south as Tsawwassen and as far east in Metro Vancouver as Maple Ridge.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties totalled 5,544 in June 2010, a 3.2 per cent increase compared to June 2009.

At 17,564, the total number of property listings was 32 per cent higher compared to this time last year.

"There has been less upward pressure on prices in our market the last few months, which has allowed prices to ease back from the record high numbers seen in April," Moldowan said.

The market trend also shows some concerns about the strength of the economic recovery, according to Tsur Somerville, an associate professor at UBC's Centre for Urban Economics.

"There are still things out there that are worrisome," Somerville told CBC News Tuesday. "I think that people are taking a little bit of a step back."

Over the last 12 months, what the board calls its benchmark price for all residential properties in the area increased 11.8 per cent to $580,237 from $518,855 in June 2009.

The board says on its website that the benchmark price is a blend of average and median prices based on the market value of mid-range homes and excludes the extreme high-end and low-end properties.

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