People camp outside Langley townhome complex sale

People camp out in hopes of purchasing a Langley Townhome
WATCH: Another sign that Metro Vancouver’s real estate madness is spreading. The sale of a new condo complex in Langley has generated long lineups, some camped out days in advance. Jordan Armstrong reports.

Demand for one of the few slices of the real estate market that is even remotely affordable, condos and townhomes in the suburbs, is spiking.

The sale of a new townhome complex in Langley has generated long line-ups; some people even willing to camp out days in advance.

The first camper arrived at 10 a.m. Tuesday, 24-hours later, 31 people had lined-up behind her.

“I think it’s absolutely crazy that this is what it’s come to, but if you want a place this is what you have to do,” said Lisa Campbell,  who’s first in-line for Ashbury + Oak on 204th Street at 82nd Avenue.

A real estate ‘camp out’ is common in Vancouver, but rare in Langley, which was once seen as an affordable option to the city.

“It’s definitely surprising,” said Jeff Chernenko, who was last in-line.

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“We’re from Port Moody, so we thought coming out [to] Langley would be cheaper. It doesn’t seem to be that much cheaper,” he added.

Fifty units are up for grabs at Ashbury + Oak. The price for a two bedroom home is expected to start around $350,000. The sales centre does not open until 12 p.m. Saturday.

“I texted my wife and said there’s a line-up now. She came home and said, ‘you gotta go’,” said Kevin Boyce, who is 27th in line and looking to up size to a three bedroom unit.

New numbers from the Fraser Real Estate Board show the benchmark price of a detached home is up 30 per cent at $776,500.

Townhomes are up 17 per cent at $353,300 and apartments have increased 15 per cent at $219,900 in the last year.

“To be able to purchase a two bedroom-two bathroom townhome for the mid 300’s, is definitely a good purchase,” said realtor Heather Forman, who’s waiting in-line for a client.

But some prospective buyers are having second thoughts, and preparing to look further east.

“I’m 28th in line and by the time [my turn] comes around, I’m not sure what will be left and if it’s in my budget,” said Sonya Adam, a teacher who commutes to Vancouver. “Due to affordability, I’m now looking at Langley, Abbotsford and Mission.”

With low supply and high demand, ‘camp outs’ may become more common in the Fraser Valley.

“Langley is the new downtown Vancouver,” added Boyce.

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People were asked to take down their tents Wednesday night.