Five places record massive increases in home prices as buyers look outside Vancouver for options

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      Demand for homes outside Vancouver is driving up prices in other markets.

      A new report by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver indicates that pressure on prices has been felt the most in five areas under its coverage.

      These are Bowen Island, Sunshine Coast, West Vancouver, Maple Ridge, and Ladner.

      “Less populated communities within the region continue to experience the largest year-over-year price increases across all property types,” the REBGV stated in a media release Tuesday (March 2).

      The release provided February 2021 statistics in areas covered by the board.

      According to the REBGV, the price of a composite or typical home in Bowen Island increased 34.4 percent last month compared to February 2020.

      This means that a home in Bowen Island went up to $1,217,700 in February 2021.

      Next to Bowen Island is the Sunshine Coast, which registered a year over year increase of 32.7 percent.

      The increase brought the price of a typical home in the Sunshine Coast to $743,200.

      Third is West Vancouver, with a 16.1 percent year over year increase. Last month’s price of home rose to $2,426,800.

      Maple Ridge comes fourth, registering a 14.8 percent increase, with homes costing $867,700 in February 2021.

      Ladner occupies fifth place, with a 13.7 percent increase last month compared to February 2020. A typical home in the area was priced $931,000.

      The year over year price increases in the five areas outshine those in the city of Vancouver.

      In February 2021, the price of a typical home on the east side of the city rose 3.9 percent to $1,125,400.

      On the west side, it was 1.9 percent. Last month, the price of a typical home in the wealthier side of Vancouver increased to $1,296,800.

      The Straight sought realtor Tom Choy for an explanation on what is happening.

      “People are looking for opportunities outside Vancouver, and this has the effect on putting pressure on prices elsewhere,” Choy said in a phone interview March 2.

      The associate broker with Royal Pacific Realty and former New York stock trader compared the situation in Vancouver to a share in the stock market.

      “Homes in Vancouver are overbought,” Choy said.

      This means that homes in Vancouver are being sold for more than what these are worth.

      “Buyers feel Vancouver is priced too much, and they want to have options,” Choy said.

      In addition to Vancouver, Bowen Island, Sunshine Coast, West Vancouver, Maple Ridge, and Ladner, the REBGV also covers Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, and Whistler.

      In its March 2 release, the board reported that 3,727 homes were sold in the region in February 2021.

      The number represents a 73.3 percent increase from the 2,150 sales recorded in February 2020. It’s a 56 percent increase from the 2,389 homes sold in January 2021.

      Last month’s sales were 42.8 per cent above the 10-year February sales average, according to the release.

      REBGV chair Colette Gerber said in the release that Metro Vancouver is “experiencing seller’s market conditions”.

      “The supply of listings for sale isn’t keeping up with the demand we’re seeing,” Gerber said.

      According to her, competition among home buyers is “causing multiple offer situations and upward pressure on prices”.

      The price of a typical home in the region rose to $1,084,000 in February 2021.

      According to the board, this represents a 6.8 percent increase over February 2020 and a 2.6 percent improvement over January 2021.