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Vancouver, BC - August 2007.

British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that residential sales volume on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in BC climbed 44 per cent to $4.66 billion in July, compared to the same month last year. Residential unit sales increased 25 per cent to 10,447 units during the same period, a record number of July transactions. The average MLS residential price hit $446,386, up 15.2 per cent from July 2006.

Housing demand is currently broad-based and reaches across the entire province. BC's strongest markets are now those noted for recreation and retirement living. The Okanagan, Kootenay, and Vancouver Island markets are all experiencing an influx of buyers originating from outside their traditional market boundaries.

Over the next ten years, the number of people in the province aged 65 or over is estimated to increase by 40 per cent, or more than 250,000 individuals. We are seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to housing demand by retirees. Many empty nesters are now getting a head start by buying recreation properties that will serve as their retirement homes in the future.

Year to date, MLS residential sales volume climbed 16.6 per cent to $28.3 billion, compared to the first seven months of 2006. MLS home sales climbed 3.6 per cent to 65,103 units, while the average MLS residential price increased 12.5 per cent to $434,381.