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A for-sale sign outside condos overlooking the skyline in the Fairview neighbourhood of Vancouver, March 4, 2013. (Rafal Gerszak for The Globe and Mail)
A for-sale sign outside condos overlooking the skyline in the Fairview neighbourhood of Vancouver, March 4, 2013. (Rafal Gerszak for The Globe and Mail)

Vancouver-area home sales down 18 per cent Add to ...

The number of homes sold in Greater Vancouver fell 18 per cent last month as buyers played a waiting game while sellers held out for improved bids.

There were 2,347 resale properties that sold in March, down from 2,874 sales a year earlier on the multiple listing service.

The benchmark index price for single-family detached homes, townhouses and condos slipped 3.9 per cent year-over-year to $593,100, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Sales volume in March hit the second-lowest point for that month since 2001.

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“While home sales were below what’s typical for March, we are seeing more balance between the number of sales and listings on the market in the last two months, which is having a stabilizing impact on home prices,” board president Sandra Wyant said in a statement Wednesday.

Condo prices in March decreased 0.9 per cent year-over-year on Vancouver’s east side to $304,900, but slumped 13.5 per cent to $211,900 in the resort community of Whistler, while single-family detached home prices declined 9.1 per cent on Vancouver’s west side to $2-million.

In the B.C. Fraser Valley, there were 1,128 resale properties that sold in March, down 20 per cent from 1,412 sales a year earlier.

The home index price, which strips out the most expensive properties, was $425,100 last month, up a slight 0.1 per cent from March of 2012. The Fraser Valley includes the sprawling and less expensive Vancouver suburb of Surrey.

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