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VANCOUVER -- Home sales in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley improved modestly in November over the previous four months, representing a relatively stable market, according to two real estate surveys released Thursday.

"Housing sales numbers were fairly typical for a November and indicate a fairly balanced market,” Jake Moldowan, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, said in a statement. “Activity on the buyer side has been stable, with slight increases, over the last few months while the number of homes listed for sale in our region has declined each month since we reached a peak in June,.”

According to the REBGV survey, November sales totalled 2,509, a 7.4-per-cent increase compared to October 2010 and an 18.6-per-cent decline from the the 3,083 sales in November 2009.

November sales came in slightly higher than the 10-year average for that month.

November sales also represent a 187.1-per-cent increase over the 874 residential sales in November 2008, a 13-per-cent decline compared to November 2007’s 2,883 sales, and a 6.4-per-cent increase compared to the 2,358 sales in November 2006.

Total property listings in Metro Vancouver now sit at 12,384, a 12.1-per-cent decline from last month and a 12-per-cent increase from November 2009.

The benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver increased 4.1 per cent to $580,080 in November 2010 from $557,384 in November 2009. The price has remained virtually unchanged since June of this year.

“Home values have been relatively stable over the last five months compared to the summer period when we were seeing some downward pressure on prices,” Moldowan added.

Meanwhile, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board reported Thursday that home sales in the Fraser Valley have been stable for the fifth consecutive month, with November sales showing a modest increase over October.

“Consumers are responding to how prices have moderated in the last six months, in addition to the double dip in mortgage rates,” board president Deanna Horn said. “Buyers are optimistic because of the improved economic conditions, which is why we’re seeing consistency in homes sales in the Fraser Valley.”

There were 1,084 sales in November, an increase of seven per cent compared to 1,014 sales in October and a decrease of 29 per cent compared to 1,522 sales in November of last year.

There was a drop in new listings in November, but Horn said: “It’s not unusual to see a dip in new listings at this time of year, however the level of home-buying interest, in particular for homes priced competitively, is stronger than we expected given we’re approaching the holiday season. That combination continues to have a stabilizing effect on home prices in the Fraser Valley.”

The benchmark price for Fraser Valley detached homes in November was $504,848, down 0.2 per cent compared to October and 1.4 per cent higher compared to $497,697 in November 2009.

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