February 4, 2016 1:28 am
Updated: February 4, 2016 1:45 am

Condo and townhome prices continue to rise in Metro Vancouver

WATCH: The price of a single-family home in the Lower Mainland is out of reach for a lot of people. But now, the cost of a condo or townhouse is starting to soar, too. Randene Neill looks at what's driving up prices and what could be ahead for embattled homebuyers.

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As the price of detached homes in Metro Vancouver continues to skyrocket, many families are looking to purchase condos and townhomes.

The number of condo and townhouse sales has doubled in the last five years, with nearly 18,000 sold last year. That spike in demand is leading to higher prices.

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READ MORE: $2.4M ‘knockdown’ sums up Vancouver housing market

For example, so many people showed up at an open house for a townhome in Yaletown last weekend, the seller hiked the price Wednesday by $100,000. The new list price: $889,000.

Charlie Kiers of RE/MAX Metro Realty said the spike in demand for condos and townhomes started early last year.

“That’s when I noticed all of a sudden, we’re getting multiple offers on townhouses,” he said. “So it went from detached [homes] to the townhouses. So that happened for the whole year. It’s still happening.”

First-time home buyers, families, empty nesters, investors and overseas buyers are all competing for a piece of Vancouver’s condo market. What was once considered a more affordable option is now following the trend of detached home prices.

READ MORE: 91% of Vancouver homes now valued at more than $1 million

The average cost of a new condo has gone up 10 per cent in the last year and experts say the supply is limited.

“If we didn’t have any new product added to market, there’s about 3.3 months of supply of new condominiums and townhomes in the market based on current demand levels,” Michael Ferreira of Urban Analytics said.

“Without an increase in supply, I can see the pressure on pricing continuing. It’s not sustainable to see these increases in prices over the long term, because at some point people will say, ‘I’m out, I can’t afford that.'”

– With files from Randene Neill

© 2016 Shaw Media

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