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Photo: Kenny Louie/Flickr

Greater Vancouver’s housing market trended towards red-hot record levels seen in 2016 last month, driven by continued demand for condos and townhomes.

A total of 4,364 homes sold in the region in May, down 8.5 per cent from the all-time record number of sales seen in May 2016 but up nearly 23 per cent from April 2017’s sales total, says the latest data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

Coming in as the third-highest selling May on record, last month’s sales were 23.7 per cent above the 10-year May sales average.

However, 2016’s market was fueled by the region’s detached home segment but this year condos and townhomes are leading sales activity.

“First-time buyers and people looking to downsize from their single-family homes are both competing for these two types of housing,” says Jill Oudil, REBGV president, in a press release.

In May, a total of 2,025 apartments sold, representing a 5.8 per cent decrease compared to the same period last year. The benchmark price was $571,300, close to an 18 per cent year-over-year increase and a 3 per cent hike compared to April 2017.

Meanwhile, 791 attached properties sold in the region last month, up roughly 5 per cent compared to May 2016. The benchmark price for attached homes was $715,400, soaring 13 per cent over the same period last year and a 1.9 per cent uptick compared to the prior month.

Metro Vancouver had a total of 6,044 new listings for detached, attached and apartment properties last month, a 3.9 per cent decrease compared to May of last year and a 23 percent increase from April 2017.

Detached homes led the month-over-month increase in new listings at 27.1 per cent, followed by apartments and townhomes at 22.7 and 14 per cent, respectively.

“Home buyers are beginning to have more selection to choose from in the detached market, but the number of condominiums for sale continues to decline,” says Oudil.

When observing the sales-to-active listings ratio broken down into property types, the ratio for townhomes and condominiums suggest significant upward pressure on prices.

In May, the ratio for condos was 94.6 per cent, followed by 76 per cent for townhomes and 31 per cent for detached properties. In total, the ratio for all residential properties was 53.4 per cent.

Typically, downward pressure occurs on home prices when the ratio falls below 12 per cent for a sustained period of time, says REBGV. Conversely, upward pressure on prices happens when the ratio surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

With less activity when compared to the apartment sector, detached home sales totaled 1,548 last month, a 17 per cent drop from May 2016. The benchmark price was $1,561,000, up 3 per cent year-over-year and 2.9 per cent from April 2017.

The benchmark price for all residential properties in the region last month saw an almost 9 per cent year-over-year increase to $967,500 and a 2.8 per cent increase compared to April 2017.

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