Surging sales of Vancouver condos, townhomes edging up real estate prices

Demand for Vancouver-area condos, townhomes pushing up prices

Surging sales of condos and townhomes are pushing up the price for a typical Metro Vancouver home once again, according to the latest figures from the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board (GVREB).

According to figures released today, benchmark prices are rising fastest for apartment units, which are up 2.7 per cent to $526,300 since January.

Prices for attached properties such as townhomes also rose 0.3 per cent to $675,500, while detached homes remained about the same as January at $1,474,200.

The rising prices were driven by an increasing number of residential sales, which were up 59 per cent compared with January.

But that's still 42 per cent less than the record set in February of last year during the height of the region's real estate boom,

Dan Morrison, the president of the GVREB, says another factor pushing up prices is a lack of new listings last month. In fact, the number of new listing totaled only 3,666 in February, the lowest level since 2003.

"While home sales are not happening at the pace we experienced last year, home seller supply is still struggling to keep up with today's demand. This is why we've seen little downward pressure on home prices, particularly in the condominium and townhome markets," Morrison said.

Similar trends in the Fraser Valley

In the Fraser Valley, prices are also rising according the February figures from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB).

The benchmark price for a single family home in the valley is $859,300, up 0.4 per cent compared to January and 20.4 per cent compared to February of last year.

Townhomes hit $422,400, up 0.5 per cent since January and 25 per cent since Feb 2016.

Apartment rose the most, hitting $267,000, up 1.8 since January, and up 26 per cent since February 2016.

Overall, the trend is a return to normal historical sales numbers, said FVREB president Gopal Sahota.

"This is the kind of February we like to see. Last year at this time, the incredible demand created a market that was difficult for consumers."

"Now, we have sales moving upward from the winter months at a typical, healthy pace and a growing inventory to support it."

Benchmark prices are calculated to reflect the price of a typical home, rather than the average price, which can be skewed by the sale of a small number of luxury homes.