Billions change hands as April home sales set record in British Columbia

VANCOUVER — More property sales records tumbled in April according to the British Columbia Real Estate Association.A release from the association says a record 12,969 homes were sold last month in B.C., a 30 per cent increase over the same period last year.Sales also eclipsed the record of 12,560 units set in March.Is it time to tax foreign property owners? CIBC economist weighs inHousing critic questions how ‘student’ can afford $31.1 million mansion in VancouverThe release says $9.64 billion changed hands in April, a leap of almost 53 per cent compared to April 2015.Year-over-year sales dollar volume rocketed to $31.2 billion, up 64 per cent.The real estate association reports the average price of a home in B.C. nudged $744,000 last month, a 17 per cent hike in one year.“Housing demand is exceptionally strong across the southern regions of the province,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist.The Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley and Thompson/Okanagan regions are particularly active, he said.Modest movement away from Vancouver came as sky-high prices and a lack of properties were blamed by the Canadian Real Estate Association for a minor sales dip in the city in March, but experts see no end to healthy sales in B.C.“Strong employment growth is helping underpin consumer confidence,” said Muir.The BCREA points to statistics showing the provincial economy employed more than 78,000 additional workers during the first four months of 2016, up 3.5 per cent compared to last year. read more