Drop in condo sales slows overall Vancouver activity in April

In a press release, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) called its latest April stats indicative of “typical spring activity.” Property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver reached 2,225 sales last month, down 8.2% from the 3,512 sales in April 2010. The sales total was also 21% down from the 4,080 in March 2011.

But the overall decline in sales related exclusively to condominiums, as detached and townhouse sales were actually up in April compared to a year earlier.

Detached and attached apartment sales were down 21.3% year-over-year last month, whereas detached houses were up 2.3% and up 1% for townhouses.

“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,” said Rosario Setticasi, president of the REBGV.

While other cities may be more concerned with such a decline, the rapid rise of prices in Vancouver has many likely relieved by a slower pace.

The benchmark price, which is the measure for a typical residential property in Greater Vancouver, increased 5% to $622,991 in April, from $593,419 a year earlier. Since a benchmark of $518,607 in April 2005, prices have risen 20% in Vancouver after already gaining 56% in the five years leading up to that 2005 benchmark.

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

The REBGV didn’t yet provide details of those variations.

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