House prices in Greater Vancouver reached new highs last month even as the number of new listings soared.
The benchmark price for all classes of homes in the area climbed to $573,241 in January, 0.8 per cent higher than the market's previous high point of $568,411 in May 2008, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said Tuesday.
Last month's benchmark was 17.2 per cent higher than its level of $489,007 a year ago, the board said.
"Although home prices in the region have largely returned to their previous peaks, we still see a significant number of first-time and move-up buyers in the market, thanks to low interest rates and the diverse range of properties available today," board president-elect Jake Moldowan said.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in the area soared 139.1 per cent to 5,147 last month from 2,153 units in December 2009, the board said.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board also reported that new inventory more than doubled between January and December as new listings rose to 2,941 from 1,453 in December.
At $446,671, the benchmark price remains three-per-cent lower than it was in the spring of 2008, the board said.
Fraser Valley board president Paul Penner said some buyers will put their house-hunting on hold during the Olympics, creating a potential advantage for others.