Financial/Equity Markets Impact October Home Sales

November 15, 2008

Vancouver, BC – November 14, 2008. British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports residential sales dollar volume on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC declined
54 per cent to $1.69 billion in October, compared to October 2007. Residential unit sales were down 51 per cent to 4,018 units during the same period. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $420,259, down 6.5 per cent from October 2007.

“Housing demand was negatively affected by the global financial crisis and a sharp downturn in the equity markets,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “These events exacerbated an already low level of consumer confidence, keeping many potential homebuyers on the sidelines.”

Residential sales in October were the lowest since December 2000, on a seasonally adjusted basis. “Home sales are unlikely to fall much further,” added Muir. “While the provincial economy has weakened, the fundamentals support a higher level of home sales than experienced last month.”

Year-to-date MLS® residential sales dollar volume in the province declined 27 per cent to $29.2 billion compared to the same period last year. Provincial MLS® sales declined 30 per cent to 63,760 units, while the average residential price increased 5 per cent to $458,078 over the same period.

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