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Blog by Kevin Wong

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Busy August For Greater Vancouver Home Listings, Less So For Sales

It was the busiest August for home listings in Greater Vancouver in 16 years but home sales didn't follow suit, according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

The benchmark price — the average for a typical home sold — rose 8.5 per cent to $625,578.

Listings for the month hit 4,685, a 25-per-cent increase from a year earlier. Sales of single-family houses, townhouses and apartments hit 2,378 last month, up eight per cent from a year ago but the third lowest total for August in a decade.

It all adds up to the "lower end of a balanced market," according to Rosario Setticasi, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

"Greater Vancouver has been trending toward a buyers' market over the past three months," he stated in a news release.

While overall benchmark prices were up year-over-year, prices of single-family homes have dropped slightly in each of the past two months. The largest prices increases came in West Vancouver (up 26.7 per cent year-over-year) and Richmond (up 22.4 per cent).

In the Fraser Valley, both new listings and sales surged in August. Sales increased 35 per cent over last August and there were 26 per cent more new listings. Sales were also up slightly compared to July, which is not typical, said Sukh Sidhu, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

"We attribute the current steady market to interest rates remaining favourable, as well as buyers taking advantage of home prices softening slightly in certain markets and an influx of new inventory across all property types," Sidhu said.

The benchmark prices of a single-family detached house in the Fraser Valley in August was $528,959, up 3.7 per cent from $510,107 in August 2010.

The largest price increase was in White Rock, where the average benchmark price for a detached home rose 11.7 per cent from a year earlier.