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Blog by Kevin Wong

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March Sales Activity Picks Up As Prices Continue To Rise In Vancouver

Buyers in Vancouver’s real estate market nearly set a record in March with 4,080 property sales in the month, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

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.