Vancouver home price Photo: Colin Knowles/Flickr

Vancouver-area home prices posted double-digit gains in the fourth quarter of 2015 — price growth that is expected to continue in the year ahead, according to Royal LePage.

According to the real estate group’s Q4 house price survey, the Greater Vancouver aggregate house price rose 12.4 per cent year-over-year to $949,468 in the final three months of the year. Broken down by housing type, the median price for bungalows in the region surged 16.8 per cent year-over-year to $1,025,604, while two-storey homes climbed 12.2 per cent to $1,259,289. Condos also saw strong price growth during the quarter, increasing 7.2 per cent to $476,213.

Indeed, prices appreciated at a rate of eight per cent or greater in six of the eight Greater Vancouver regions surveyed. Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver all saw aggregate prices jump between 11.9 and 14.9 per cent over the same period in 2014.

“At the close of a record year for real estate in Greater Vancouver it was a seller’s market across the board,” said Royal LePage regional manager Alan Stewart in a report. “Inventory remains constrained in many areas of the city, pushing prices even higher. The supply shortage is particularly critical for detached homes, which explains the double-digit price appreciation for this housing type in almost all neighbourhoods.”

Squeezed out of the detached home segment by sky-high prices, younger homebuyers are looking at condos or options further from downtown. In many instances the markets for these alternatives are becoming as hot as the ones for single-family homes in more established neighbourhoods and central Vancouver, Royal LePage said in its report.

Looking ahead to 2016, the real estate group forecasts that the aggregate price in Vancouver will rise be nine per cent year-over-year, with detached homes continuing to outpace condos in terms of price growth.

“The year ahead is going to be an interesting one in the region,” added Stewart. “Home prices are undoubtedly going to continue upward, although likely at a less frantic pace. While the supply and demand dynamics that have guided the market in recent periods will continue, we expect the rate of house price appreciation in the region to settle at a more sustainable single-digit price increase trend.”

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