Low interest rates and low inventory numbers are allowing home prices to rise once again. Many are now saying that the worst is behind us and it's business as usual.
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Home prices in New Westminster have bounced back to 2008 highs, according to statistics released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
Last month was the second highest number of residential sales ever recorded for the month of September for Metro Vancouver, and New Westminster is one of the cities that saw a boom.
The average price for a detached home sold in New Westminster last month was $562,000, a five per cent increase over the last year.
Sales for detached homes increased by three times over September 2008, rising from 10 that year to 29 the same month this year. There were 52 homes on the market in September.
The average price for a standard condominium in New Westminster was $283,464, a 0.4 per cent increase over the year.
While the prices didn't ascend significantly the last year, sales of condos and two-storey attached homes more than doubled, going from 55 in September 2008 to 115 in September 2009. In total, there were 177 attached homes and apartments on the market last month.
While home prices rose in most municipalities in the Greater Vancouver over the last year, West Vancouver, Coquitlam, Squamish and the Sunshine Coast saw prices drop by an average of almost six per cent for the year. Port Moody saw the biggest increase this year, with prices rising 15 per cent.
Though house prices rose across the region in September, it doesn't necessarily signal an upward trend.
Cameron Muir, chief economist with the B.C. Real Estate Association, told The Record in August that he doesn't expect prices to climb much higher but thinks the market will remain strong.
Economist Pascal Gauthier told The Vancouver Sun that sales will probably wane in the months ahead.
While Gauthier doesn't expect prices to dip again, economic conditions will likely take another bite out of sales in 2010, the Sun reported. Incomes in Metro Vancouver are not rising substantially, although home prices have nearly recovered, so the increased affordability of housing "rests solely on low interest rates, which will start to reverse course in late 2010," Gauthier says in the article.
© The Record (New Westminster) 2009
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