BC Home Sales Decline by One-Third in 2008

Vancouver, BC – January 12, 2009. British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports residential sales dollar volume on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC declined
31 per cent to $31.3 billion in 2008, compared to 2007. Residential unit sales declined 33 per cent to 68,923 units last year, the lowest level since 2000, when 54,179 transactions were recorded. The average MLS® residential price in 2008 was $454,599, up 3.5 per cent from 2007.

“The housing market came in like a lion and went out like a lamb in 2008,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Home prices reached a record high in March, but edged lower during the balance of the year.” The average residential sales price hit $483,291 in March and ended the year at $429,210, an 11 per cent decline in nine months.

“The global financial crisis, a sharp correction in the equity markets and a recessionary environment in Canada has wreaked havoc on consumer confidence,” added Muir. “While it’s difficult to predict when consumer confidence will strengthen, home affordability is quietly improving as lower prices and mortgage interest rates increase the buying power of BC households.”

December MLS® residential sales dollar volume in the province declined 52 per cent to $1.05 billion, compared to December 2007. Provincial MLS® sales were down 49 per cent to 2,456 units, while the average residential price declined 6 per cent to $429,210 over the same period.

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