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Property sales set blistering pace in February across British Columbia

Last Updated Mar 14, 2016 at 2:40 pm EDT

A sold home is pictured in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. February was a record-shattering month for home sales in British Columbia.The British Columbia Real Estate Association says nearly 10,000 residential units changed hands across the province last month, a leap of almost 45 per cent compared to 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER – February was a record-shattering month for home sales in British Columbia, with a 44.7 per cent hike compared to the same month last year.

The B.C. Real Estate Association said 9,637 residential units changed hands across the province in February.

That was 1,480 units higher than the previous sales record for February, set in 1992.

“Housing demand is now at a break-neck pace,” said Cameron Muir, the association’s chief economist.

“Home sales last month were not only a record for the month of February, but on a seasonally adjusted basis, demand has never been stronger in the province,” he said.

Value of total sales also surged to $7.51 billion, up 76.4 per cent compared to last February.

“Downward pressure on active listings has created significant upward pressure on home prices in some regions, particularly in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley,” Muir said.

More homes were being built across B.C. last month, but Muir estimated a record pace for housing starts would not outstrip demand any time soon.

Real Estate Association numbers showed the value of residential sales across the province soared 73.6 per cent to $11.9 billion since the start of the year, compared with the same period in 2015.

In the first two months of 2016, the association said the average residential price in B.C. ballooned 23.9 per cent to $769,400.