Metro Vancouver real estate sales sail through Olympics month

VANCOUVER — The 2010 Winter Olympics did little to distract Metro Vancouverites from the region’s real estate markets with realtors racking up a reasonable number of sales in February, a month in which they hadn’t expected to be busy.

The Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board recorded 2,473 sales in February, nearly 30 per cent higher than January and dramatically higher than the 1,480 sales seen in February a year ago.

“We don’t know at this point what long-term impact the Olympics will have on our housing market, but we do know that activity in our market remained steady through all of the excitement and distraction of the last few weeks,” board president Scott Russell said in a news release.

However, with an inventory of 11,346 unsold homes in February, the proportion of sales compared to total listings puts Metro Vancouver into balanced -market territory.

“Two months into 2010, we see the total number of homes listed for sale on the rise and demand in the market strong, but less frenzied than we saw in the latter part of 2009,” Russell added.

In February, the benchmark price of a detached home in Metro Vancouver, an average for the typical homes sold, hit $800,796, a 1.5-per-cent jump from January and a 22.5-per-cent increase from the same month a year ago.

The benchmark price on townhouses was $495,496 in February, up 16 per cent from a year ago and apartment condominium benchmark was $390,899, up 17 per cent from a year ago.

Source: The Vancouver Sun

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