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Home demand still outstrips supply in Metro Vancouver but price hikes slow: report

The downtown Vancouver skyline is seen at sunset, as houses line a hillside in Burnaby, B.C., on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Home sales across Metro Vancouver remained well above the 10-year average in September, but the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says prices haven't climbed as sharply. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck. DD

Home sales across Metro Vancouver remained well above the 10-year average in September, but the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says prices haven’t climbed as sharply.

The board’s housing market report for September shows sales were 20.8 per cent above the 10-year average for the month while new listings were 1.2 per cent below.

Just over 9,000 condos, townhomes and single-detached homes were listed for sale in September and statistics from the board show 34 per cent of those changed hands.

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Analysts say property prices generally climb when the percentage of sales compared with listings is above 20 per cent, but even though sales were strong, board economist Keith Stewart says pressure on prices was not as intense.

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The report shows the composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is just under $1.2 million, a 13.8 per cent boost over September 2020 but an increase of only 0.8 per cent since August.

Stewart says home price trends will vary depending on property type and neighbourhood and warns the number of properties listed for sale can’t meet demand, ultimately forcing prices higher.

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“With the federal election now behind us, we hope to see governments at all levels work with the construction industry to streamline the creation of a more abundant and diverse supply of housing options,” he says in the report.

The benchmark price for a detached home was over $1.8 million in September, a 1.2 per cent increase from the month earlier, but a 20.4 per cent leap since September of 2020, the board says.

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Townhomes also recorded a double-digit jump in benchmark price, selling for an average of $963,800, 17.5 per cent above last September and mirroring the 1.2 per cent month-over-month increase of detached properties.

Condo sales saw the smallest monthly price jump at just 0.5 per cent, the report shows, while the benchmark price was $738,600 in September, an 8.4 per cent year-over-year-gain.

Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include Richmond and South Delta, north to Whistler and east to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, with the exception of Surrey, Langley and White Rock.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2021.

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