Residential market strengthens despite seasonal slowdown

 Vancouver, BC - March 2, 2010

In Q4 2009, home sales in BC declined 15.7% compared to Q3 2009, and the total dollar value of residential sales was lower by 12.9%, the result of the seasonal slowdown.
 
The Q4 2009 Residential Sales Summary, just released by Landcor Data Corporation, looks at sales and price data for BC and for six regions - Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Kootenays, the Okanagan, the Fraser Valley and BC North/Northwest.
 
"Heading into Q4, sales are usually slower than in Q3 because the cold and wet set in, driving potential home buyers indoors, where they stay until spring," says Landcor Data Corporation president, Rudy Nielsen. "Despite this seasonal influence, the market was still strong, because it was a great time to buy. We have good mortgage rates, and the economy is better."
 
Landcor's unique data includes all sales in the province, not just MLS® sales. There were 31,623 sales in B.C. in Q4, 67.4% more than in Q4 2008 when 18,886 sales were recorded, and 15.7% less than the 37,515 sales in Q3 2009. Q4 2008 was the low point in sales activity during the past recession.
 
Greater Vancouver sales were down 18.8% compared to Q3 but up 82.6% from one year ago. Fraser Valley sales were down 9.0% from Q3 but up 75.0% from a year ago. The lowest increase in sales was 2.7%, year over year, in BC North/Northwest where 1,728 homes changed hands.
 
Generally, prices were up year over year; however, some prices slipped in Q4 due to the seasonal slowdown.
 
The Sales Summary also evaluates monthly activity during Q4 2009. Sales generally declined in both November and December across most regions of the province, and prices were mixed although broadly lower in December.
 
"There's a cowboy saying that you have to talk slowly and think quickly," says Rudy Nielsen. "In B.C. the market has been like this - it's been talking slowly. But when it picks up due to the next seasonal factor - the active spring and summer months - buyers better be able to think, and act quickly."
 
 

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