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Home property sales plateau

In its latest statistics released Thursday, the median selling prices of local houses, condos and townhomes surged again in May compared to April, with a single family Richmond home selling for the median price of $990,000.  - Seung Chul-Baik photo
In its latest statistics released Thursday, the median selling prices of local houses, condos and townhomes surged again in May compared to April, with a single family Richmond home selling for the median price of $990,000.
— image credit: Seung Chul-Baik photo

It remains a seller’s market in Richmond, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

In its latest statistics released Thursday, the median selling prices of local houses, condos and townhomes surged again in May compared to April, with a single family Richmond home selling for the median price of $990,000. That’s up five per cent compared to April’s $940,500, with a total of 135 houses trading hands, down slightly from the 143 the previous month.

While the number of townhouses sold dropped from 108 to 103 last month, prices rose from $545,000 to $565,000.

Condo prices also jumped nearly eight per cent to $377,000 while sales remained level.

Regionally, home sales remained at typical springtime levels, according to the board.

Sales of detached, attached and apartment properties rose seven per cent to 3,377 homes.

“With a sales-to-active-listings ratio of 23 per cent, conditions continue to favour sellers in the Greater Vancouver housing market, but activity has eased away from the near record-setting pace we saw in March,” said board president Rosario Setticasi. “We’re seeing more activity at the high end of our market this year than we did one year ago.”

Some 77 per cent of properties that sold for over $1 million were located in Richmond, the west side of Vancouver, or West Vancouver.

Long-time Richmond realtor Patsy Hui was somewhat surprised that Richmond house prices jumped again last month.

While some realtors speculated that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan scared off the Chinese buyers who have largely fueled the Lower Mainland real estate market since November, Hui is more a believer in statistics.

With more than 900 homes listed for sale, there’s simply too much supply in Richmond, Hui said.

As a result, prices softened in March and April.

But as the number of sales have levelled off, prices have begun to rebound.

Though the market isn’t as hot as it was in December, January, February and March, she’s still seeing some homes receive multiple offers and selling for above asking price.

Hui said that those buyers fearing earthquakes and tsunamis in Richmond need to do a little research about insurance and geography.

Earthquake insurance is available for the risk of a home being damaged by a temblor.

And before an off-shore tsunami generated in the Pacific Ocean can strike Richmond, it must first strike Vancouver Island and snake through the Gulf Islands, which will likely absorb the bulk of a tsunami’s energy.

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