Homebuyers Benefit from Lower Prices

For immediate release

Vancouver, BC - December 12, 2008. British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports residential sales dollar volume on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC declined 67 per cent to $1.07 billion in November, compared to November 2007. Residential unit sales were down 62 per cent to 2,707 units during the same period. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $395,687, down 12.5 per cent from November 2007.

"The average sale price of a home in the province hit a 26-month low in November," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "The irony of markets is that there's no shortage of buyers when prices are near a peak and a scarcity of buyers when prices are near a trough." Home prices were 8 per cent lower in November 2008-nine months after the peak-than they were nine months prior to the peak.

"Today's homebuyers are benefiting from a greater selection of homes for sale, more time to thoroughly investigate their choices and the ability to negotiate attractive prices," added Muir

Year-to-date MLS® residential sales dollar volume in the province declined 30 per cent to $30.3 billion compared to the same period last year. Provincial MLS® sales declined 32 per cent to 66,467 units, while the average residential price increased 4 per cent to $455,537 over the same period.

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