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Vancouver house price increases outpace national average

The average price for a standard detached home in Vancouver is approximately triple the national average, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey released this week.

The average third quarter price for a detached bungalow increased 17 per cent year-over-year, selling for $1,022,375 - nearly three times the national average bungalow price of $349,974.

Standard two-storey homes rose 16.9 per cent over the same period last year, selling for an average price of $1,142,500 - more than triple the national average price of $388,218 for a similar home. Selling for double the national average, standard condominiums increased 5.1 per cent to $513,500.

The biggest price increases came from West Vancouver, where detached bungalows increased 25 per cent to $1.2 million, and standard two-storey homes increased nearly 24 per cent to $1.3 million.

For the purpose of calculating city-wide Vancouver averages, the Royal LePage House Price Survey incorporates Vancouver West Side, Vancouver East Side, North Vancouver and West Vancouver.

"West Vancouver is the surprising number," said Bill Binnie, broker and owner of Royal LePage North Shore. "It had the highest appreciation, year-over-year, for any neighbourhood. There was a shift in consumer preference. Demand from Asian buyers shifted from Richmond to the West Side, and West Vancouver in particular. Most of the price increases and sales volume in West Van reflect market activity in the Ambleside and Dundarave areas."

One of the only housing types to not appreciate in value was standard condominiums in North Vancouver, due to an influx of new construction.

"Condo prices have been flat in North Van for a couple of years," says Binnie. "Resale condos are facing pressure from new product, which first time buyers gravitate to. Investors also like new strata buildings, many of which don't have as many rental restrictions as older buildings. However, new rules that took effect January 1st mean strata rules - such as the ability to rent - will survive ownership changes."

Chris Simmons, broker and owner of Royal LePage Westside & City Centre, pays close attention to market activity in Richmond - which can impact demand in Vancouver. "A year ago there were approximately 1,700 listings in Richmond. Now there are more than 2,300 homes for sale.

However, prices are climbing, and year-to-date demand is slightly up over last year. An increased inventory presents excellent buying opportunities."

Approximately 17,000 homes are listed in Vancouver - a 10 per cent year-to-date increase over last year.

Nationally, the average price of a home in Canada increased between 5.7 and 7.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2011, compared to the previous year. The strength of home price appreciation in the third quarter defied expectations as very low interest rates buoyed consumer confidence in a comparatively stable Canadian economy.  Year-over-year gains appear deceptively strong in comparison to a weak third quarter of 2010.

"The strength in Canada's national housing market conceals signs of predictable softening in some regions," said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage Real Estate Services. "The third quarter saw a return to a normal seasonal business cycle as price appreciation slowed in many areas - with some average values even falling slightly - after the busy spring trading season. A broader slowdown is expected in the months ahead but fears of a US-style correction are completely unfounded."

In the third quarter of 2011, the national average price of a detached bungalow rose 7.8 per cent year-over-year to $349,974, while standard two-storey homes rose 7.7 per cent to $388,218 and standard condominiums rose 5.7 per cent to $239,300.

About the Royal LePage House Price Survey

The Royal LePage House Price Survey is the largest, most comprehensive study of its kind in Canada, with information on seven types of housing in over 250 neighbourhoods from coast to coast. 

This release references an abbreviated version of the survey which highlights house price trends for the three most common types of housing in Canada in 90 communities across the country. 

  • A complete database of past and present surveys is available on the Royal LePage Web site at www.royallepage.ca.