Vancouver housing market Photo: Daniel Peckham/Flickr

Royal LePage says the Vancouver-area housing market was “steady but balanced” in the first three months of the year compared to the first quarter of 2013.

According to real estate franchiser’s quarterly House Price Survey, home values were up across the board with detached bungalows seeing the largest year-over-year price increase, climbing 4.8 per cent to $1,062,318. The average price of a standard two-storey home saw an increase of 2.9 per cent to $1,148,473 while the price of condos rose 0.3 per cent to $482,800.

Royal LePage broker Chris Simmons says the first quarter was consistent with the typical Vancouver January to March real estate market.

“In terms of unit sales, January and the beginning of February were slow, but more and more life came into the market in the end of February and through March,” said Simmons.

According to Simmons, housing inventory has been a problem for detached homes, where properties put up for sale don’t tend to stay on the market for very long.

“Builders are focused on developing multi-unit properties like condos, so inventory in that category remains fairly good. On the other hand, there is a perpetual shortage of single-family homes, which is driving up prices for this property type,” he added.

Home prices up across Canada

Nationally, most regions showed healthy year-over-year price growth, with the average price of a home in Canada rising between 2.5 per cent and 5.4 per cent. In the first quarter, the average price of a two-storey home increased 5.4 per cent to $428,943, while detached bungalows rose 4.4 per cent year-over-year to $380,765. Condos, meanwhile, posted slightly lower gains of 2.5 per cent to $252,174.

“With a number of supportive economic factors in place, the country’s healthy real estate market continues to display its strength,” said Royal LePage president Phil Soper.

“The federal government is heading towards a balanced budget for the first time in over six years, while all signs point to a continued low interest rate environment. Moreover, the strengthening global economy and a weaker Canadian dollar are fueling demand for Canadian exports and reducing dependence on the household sector to sustain our economic success,” Soper added.

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