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Blog by Steve Burk

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Home sales rise; affordability falls

Vancouver, BC – June 19, 2007. British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that residential sales volume on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC rose 17.5 per cent to $5.32 billion in May, compared to the same month last year. Residential sales increased 3 per cent to 11,683 units during the same period. The average MLS® price hit $454,945, up 14 per cent from May 2006.

“The increase in MLS® unit sales in May belies the fact that housing affordability is eroding,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The monthly carrying cost of an average home in the province has increased $500 since the beginning of the year. A household now needs to earn $114,000, or $21,150 more than in January, to afford a home priced at the BC average.”

“Rising wages, low unemployment and encouraging migration figures continue to support housing demand in the province,” added Muir.“However, recent mortgage rate increases combined with record high home prices will moderate housing demand over the second half of the year.”

Year-to-date, MLS® residential sales volume was up 11 per cent to $18.7 billion, compared to the first five months 2006. MLS® home sales dipped 1 per cent to 43,559 units, while the average MLS® residential price climbed 12 per cent to $429,888.