Home listings withdraw as sales volume slows

By
Real Estate Sales Representative with Royal LePage Northshore

VANCOUVER, B.C. - February 3, 2009 - The first month of 2009 saw a continued reduction in the number of homes listed for sale in Greater Vancouver, while sales volumes in January were the lowest for that month since the early 1980s.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties declined 58.1 per cent in January 2009 to 762 from the 1,819 sales recorded in January 2008.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined 20.9 per cent to 3,700 in January 2009 compared to January 2008, when 4,675 new units were listed. Total active listings in Greater Vancouver currently sit at 13,966, down nearly 6,000 listings from October 2008.

Overall residential benchmark prices, as calculated by the MLSLink Housing Price Index®, declined 10.9 per cent to $489,007 between Januarys 2008 and 2009.

"Home sales and consumer confidence are at a low point at the moment, but the long-term strength and security of our housing market are beyond the reach of the economic clouds of today," Dave Watt, REBGV president said.

"Today's short-term conditions are creating long-term opportunities. Buying opportunities have not been this strong in a decade, with low interest rates, broad selection and more affordable prices," Watt said.

Sales of detached properties declined 54.4 per cent to 292 from the 641 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The benchmark price for detached properties declined 11.2 per cent to $659,638 in January 2009 compared to $742,490 January 2008.

Sales of apartment properties in January 2009 declined 58 per cent to 361, compared to 860 sales in January 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 11.6 per cent to $334,602 compared to $378,336 in January 2008.

Attached property sales in January 2009 were down 65.7 per cent to 109, compared with the 318 sales in January 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit declined 8.1 per cent to $425,309 compared to $462,627 in January 2008.

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