April stats show stabilizing real estate market - CTV interviews Vancouver Mortgage Broker Jessi Johnson

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April stats show stabilizing real estate market - CTV interviews Vancouver Mortgage Broker Jessi Johnson

Andrew Weichel, ctvbc.ca Published Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Housing sales in Greater Vancouver increased 31 per cent from March to April, making experts predict more stability in the region's turbulent real estate market.

Housing affordability and low Bank of Canada lending rates contributed to April's increased activity, according to Scott Russell, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

"We're also seeing sellers that are more realistic when they're pricing their products, and that has a big impact on it," Russell said.

The increased sales figures still represent a drop from last year. Detached property sales fell eight per cent compared to April 2008, while apartment sales dropped 10.5 per cent. New property listings have also been declining for six consecutive months.

Despite the comparatively low numbers, Russell is optimistic about market conditions.

"What we're seeing is very encouraging for us right now," Russell said. "This is more stability, and that's a really key point for people."

Vancouver mortgage broker Jessi Johnson agrees. He says banks are getting backed up pre-approving mortgages and refinancing mortgages for the first time in months. "Some of the lenders we deal with, we can't even send deals to them," Johnson said. "They say 'alright, but it's going to be three of four days before we even look at it.'"

Some neighbourhoods also managed to beat last year's sales figures. Vancouver West sold 193 units in April, a 59.5 per cent increase over the 121 units sold in April 2008.

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