Townhouses most sought after home in Greater Vancouver, and report explains why “problem is finding one”

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      A report notes that townhouses are the “most in-demand” type of home in Greater Vancouver.

      “The problem is finding one,” Kevin Skipworth of Dexter Realty wrote.

      The partner, managing broker and chief economist of the Vancouver realty firm noted a “lack of listings” for townhouses in markets served by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

      Based on official REBGV statistics, townhouses had the highest sales-to-active-listings ratio at 47.8 percent in July 2021.

      In comparison, detached homes had a sales-to-listings ratio of 25.5 percent, and condos, 37.3 percent, last month.

      As a general rule, a ratio of 21 percent and over means it’s a seller’s market. A ratio of 12 percent to 20 percent means a balanced market. A ratio of 11 percent and below means a buyer’s market.

      As an example of lack of listings, Skipworth noted that in Port Moody, 17 new listings for townhouses came on the market in July 2021, and 47 sales of this type were made in the same month.

      This means sales depleted the “total inventory of active listings” in the area.

      “Many other markets, such as Coquitlam where July townhouse sales accounted for 95% of listings, are close to near-zero inventory,” Skipworth noted.

      The Dexter Realty executive also mentioned South Delta, Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam, and Whistler-Pemberton.

      Going by REBGV figures, South Delta had 21 new listings and 20 sales, which likely means the total inventory was almost exhausted by demand; Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows, 50 new listings and 57 sales; Port Coquitlam, 23 new listings and 24 sales; and Whistler/Pemberton, 15 new listings and 24 sales.

      There’s also another issue related to supply.

      “Aside from the lack of listings, there are only 1,149 new townhouses under construction in all of Greater Vancouver,” Skipworth wrote in his report Thursday (August 5).

      Skipworth also noted that in the City of Vancouver, only 58 new townhouses have started this year.

      The Dexter Realty executive also noted that the benchmark price of a townhouse in markets covered by the REBGV rose to $949,900 in July 2021.

      That’s a 16 percent increase from the same month in 2020, nearly $152,000.

      The lowest benchmark price for a townhouse in the REBGV area is in the Sunshine Coast at $611,600.

      If taking a ferry to go home is a hassle, buyers can find the second most affordable typical price in Maple Ridge at $688,000.

      There’s always Surrey to save the day for homebuyers.

      The Surrey housing market is served by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB), which also covers Abbotsford, Langley, Mission, North Delta, and White Rock.

      “B.C.’s second-largest city is a safety valve for those who want to buy a townhouse but have difficulty finding one in Greater Vancouver,” Skipworth wrote.

      Skipworth noted that there are 1,139 new townhouses under construction in Surrey.

      In comparison, 1,149 townhouses are under construction in “all of Greater Vancouver”.

      Based on official FVREB figures, the benchmark price of a townhouse across its region stood at $688,400 in July 2021.

      This represents a 1.5 percent increase over June 2021, and a 22.3 percent rise compared to July 2020.