VANCOUVER - The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says home sales across the region returned to near record levels in May.

The board says residential property sales totalled 4,364 in May, a leap of 22.8 per cent over the 3,553 homes sold one month earlier.

May's numbers are about 10 per cent lower than sales recorded in May 2016, but a news release from the real estate board notes properties were changing hands at an all-time record one year ago.

It also says sales last month were 23.7 per cent above the 10-year May sales average and the third-highest selling May on record, despite a 15 per cent foreign buyers tax imposed by the B.C. government last year.

Board president Jill Oudil says sales are inching closer to the record-breaking pace of 2016, but she says the market this year is being driven by a demand for townhomes and condominiums, rather than single-family homes.

The composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $967,500, an 8.8 per cent increase over May 2016 and a 2.8 per cent increase compared with April 2017.