Housing sales surge ahead in February

Friday, March 18th, 2005

Michael McCullough

Home sales across B.C. picked up in February after a slow January, returning to last year’s record-setting pace.

Though the number of units sold declined slightly from February 2004, to 7,404, dollar volume increased a healthy 8.3 per cent to $2.3 billion, the B.C. Real Estate Association said Thursday.

The totals represent an increase of 2,800 units and $1 billion from January, which was affected by inclement weather in addition to the usual seasonal slowdown.

“Sales are keeping pace with last year’s record levels and consumers are confident that now is a good time to buy a home,” association president Gordon Maroney declared in a release. “This is going to be another strong year for home sales in B.C.”

Although 10 of the province’s 12 real estate boards increased dollar sales year-over-year, some regions fared better than others.

Boards in the central and northern Okanagan, Kamloops, Powell River and Vancouver Island (excluding Victoria) all managed to boost both the number of transactions and dollar totals.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, which accounts for roughly half the home sales in B.C., essentially matched last year’s transaction pace with 3,150 resale homes changing hands.

Cash flow, however, increased 8.6 per cent, reflecting the year-to-year rise in home prices.

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The number of B.C. home sales slipped slightly in February compared to the same month a year earlier, but the value of the sales increased at a greater rate.

B.C. home sales, volume

Feb. ’05 – 7,404

Feb. ’04 – 7,566

Change: -2.14%

B.C. home sales, value

Feb. ’05 – $2.3 billion

Feb. ’04 – $2.1 billion

Change: +8.3%

Source: B.C. Real Estate Association

© The Vancouver Sun 2005

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