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Lower Mainland housing sales slow, but more showing up at open houses

by CHARLIE SMITH on MAR 4, 2013 at 1:08 PM

THE REAL ESTATE Board of Greater Vancouver has grabbed onto one morsel of news to offer hope to agents.


"Sales in February followed recent trends and were below seasonal averages, though our members tell us they saw more traffic at open houses last month compared to the previous six to eight months," REBGV president Eugen Klein said in a statement accompanying February sales figures.

There may be more people kicking the tires, so to speak, but the board still reported that last month's number of transactions was 30.9 percent below the 10-year average for February. Sales last month were second lowest in the region in February since 2001.

Not surprisingly, this is having a downward impact on prices. The MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark for all forms of housing is at $590,400. That's 5.6 percent below the peak of $625,100 in May 2012.

A condo on Vancouver's East Side had a benchmark price of $301,600 in February, which is down 0.6 percent from a year ago.

On the West Side of the city, the benchmark price was $461,900, down 2.5 percent over February 2012.

Within the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver—which doesn't include North Delta, Surrey, or Langley—the cheapest benchmark price for a condo last month was $177,400 in Maple Ridge.

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