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Vancouver’s housing market rebounded in June, with sales and prices rising, as fears of the coronavirus pandemic subsided and buyers resumed their hunt for a home.

Last month, 2,443 homes sold in the Vancouver region, an 18-per-cent increase over the previous June, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. That was a 65 per cent higher than May, when the market was starting to recover from pandemic restrictions. But still below the 10-year average for last month.

Before the pandemic and government closures halted activity in mid-March, Vancouver’s market was picking up after a two-year slowdown brought on by stricter mortgage rules and higher foreign sales taxes.

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“There was pent-up demand, then the brakes were applied and suddenly you could not do anything. People were psychologically ready to buy and sell, and couldn’t,” said Colette Gerber, the real estate board’s chair. “Everyone who was ready to buy is more comfortable with the current environment.”

In May, B.C. started allowing more businesses to reopen and eased limits on gatherings. Meanwhile, realtors and their clients took precautions to prevent the spread of the virus by wearing face masks. Those measures helped boost confidence among homeowners who wanted to sell, driving new listings to 5,787 properties in June, a 22 per cent increase over last year and 57 per cent higher than May.

However, the inventory of available properties is still below normal levels, driving up the competition and spurring a return of the multiple offers and bids over the asking price.

The home price index, an industry calculation of a typical home price, was $1,025,300 in June. That was 3.5 per cent higher than June of last year and 0.3 per cent lower than May.

“It is not like prices are exploding,” said Ms. Gerber, who called the tiny month-to-month decline “so small, it is irrelevant.”

Mortgage brokers said buyers had been racing to make purchases before July 1, when tougher borrowing rules from the country’s major mortgage insurance provider went into effect.

The benchmark price for a detached house reached $1,464,200 in June, a 3.6-per-cent increase over last year. The benchmark price for a condo climbed 3.6 per cent to $680,800, while the price for an attached house rose 2.3 per cent to $790,800.

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Attached houses and townhouses saw the most demand with sales increasing by 21 per cent over last year.

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