Vancouver real estate led the country in what proved to be a bounce-back year for housing sales, says a new report from Re/Max.
The realtor's Housing Market Outlook 2014 showed Vancouver tied with Kelowna for Canada's top home sales growth in 2013 at 10 per cent.
Greater Vancouver is set to see 28,000 home sales by the end of the year, compared to 25,445 homes sold in 2012. Housing activity is expected to grow more modestly in 2014, with 29,000 sales forecast, an increase of about two per cent.
The average price of a home is predicted to climb from $730,063 in 2012 to $765,000 by the end of the year, before increasing to $800,000 in 2014, an increase of five per cent, year on year.
The region's real estate market rebounded in the latter half of the year after housing activity plunged in 2012, with slow sales stretching into the first two quarters of 2013.
According to the report, the May provincial election proved a turning point for real estate, with a clear government mandate, softer housing values and an historically low interest rate environment driving growth.
Many local buyers took advantage of softer housing values and moved into bigger homes or better neighbourhoods.
The luxury market also saw strong activity, with sales of homes costing over $2 million up 20 per cent over 2012.
The news does little to buck Vancouver's recent title as Canada's least affordable city.
"Affordability in Vancouver is uncomfortably strained and the city’s housing market still remains, by far, the most costly in Canada,” said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC last month.
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