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No hiss for real estate market in Vancouver
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Saturday, 09 September 2006

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Average Greater Vancouver real estate prices climbed again in August, but the hot housing market softened slightly further east in the Fraser Valley.

The gains were led by single family house prices in Vancouver, the North Shore and areas such as Port Moody, where a benchmark home sold for about $620,000 in August, up from $572,000 in July.

A typical detached house in Greater Vancouver sold for $653,000 last month, up $9,000 from July and about 19 per cent from a year earlier.

Apartment prices in the Vancouver area edged up slightly to $331,000, according to the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board.

The steepest drops in price were for apartments in places like West Vancouver, where the benchmark price for a condo dropped $30,000 to $584,000.

In the Surrey-Langley-Abbotsford area covered by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, prices dipped slightly.

The average detached house selling price was $484,000 in August -down $6,000 -and the average apartment went for $193,000, down about $5,000.

Houses in White Rock were the most expensive -selling at an average $759,000, up $44,000 from July -while average prices in Mission were lowest at $339,000.

The number of properties changing hands in both regions is down significantly from the record activity of a year ago.

"It's healthy," said Fraser Valley board president David Rishel. "We're seeing a return to more normal levels."

He attributed the price stability to job growth in the valley and generally more affordable prices.

The latest numbers came on the heels of TD Economics' latest "bubble watch" report that issued renewed warnings that double-digit price gains in the Vancouver area are unsustainable.


Edwina Baniqued

 
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