March sales activity picks up as prices continue to rise in Vancouver

Prices also continued to rise for homes, with some areas surrounding the city up more than 20% compared to last year.


The March sales total was up 31.7% compared to the 3,097 February sales in 2011, a 30.1% increase over the 3,137 sales in March 2010, and an 80.1% increase from the 2,265 home sales in March 2009. The all-time March sales record was 4,371 transactions in 2004, according to the REBGV.


Prices reached a benchmark of $866,806 for detached homes in Greater Vancouver, $511,039 for attached homes, and $403,885 for apartments.


Detached homes were up the most, reaching 8.3% above the benchmark of a year ago, and 42% above the benchmark of five years ago. Apartments were up the least, 2.1% on the year, and 32.4% over five years.


“Conditions favour sellers at the moment, but we’re seeing differences in home-price trends and overall activity depending on the region and property type,” said Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president.


The highest benchmark for a detached home was in Vancouver West, at $1.9 million, followed by West Vancouver at $1.5 million, and Richmond at $1.1 million.


The lowest benchmark prices in March were in the Sunshine Coast at $441,497, Maple Ridge at $459,554, and Pitt Meadows at $539,858.

Only North Vancouver, Squamish, and New Westminster saw price declines in March compared to a year before. Richmond, which was boosted by mainland Chinese buyers lately, saw its benchmark price jump 25% from a year before, and is now 89% above what it was five years ago.

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