Maple Ridge condo prices up by 50 per cent in one year

Latest figures from Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

House prices keep climbing but the numbers for sale have dropped. (THE NEWS/files)

House prices keep climbing but the numbers for sale have dropped. (THE NEWS/files)

If you bought a condo in Maple Ridge, a year ago, you made the right move.

If you’re still trying to buy one, the task has become more difficult.

While house sales have slowed in Metro Vancouver in the past year, condo prices have climbed in Maple Ridge, by 51 per cent, when April 2018 prices are compared to April 2017 prices.

But as home prices become more unreachable, first-time buyers may be thinking – it’s too late get a place of their own.

Local realtor Tom Garvey however doesn’t see prices dropping. More than 60,000 people arrive in B.C. each year and most of them are coming to Metro Vancouver, he said.

“There are not enough condos to meet demand, so it’s a real supply issue.

“Is there any downside to them buying? I would suspect not. I see steady demand and not enough supply.”

Investors, first-time buyers and people downsizing into smaller homes are all looking at the condo market. However, he’s said there’s been some decreased demand in single family homes in the Coquitlam area.

Cities could try to streamline their application processes to speed up construction times and there could be more zoning to allow multi-family housing projects, he added.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver stats also show that over the same time period, total home sales dropped by 27 per cent across the region. The number is also one-fifth less than the 10-year average for April.

Real estate board president Phil Moore attributes the slowdown in sales to tougher mortgage requirements from the federal government.

“Home sales declined in our region last month to a 17-year April low and home sellers have become more active than we’ve seen in the past three years,” Moore said in a release.

While the number of house sales have dropped over the past year, the number of homes that up for sale has increased – by almost the same amount. The total number of properties regionwide for sale in April this year was up by 26 per cent compared to last April.

“Home buyers have more breathing room this spring,” said Moore, saying there’s more selection and fewer buyers to compete against.

In Maple Ridge, the Real Estate Board of Great Vancouver’s benchmark price for an apartment, the number of bedrooms isn’t specified, is now $329,000. That’s 91 per cent higher than three years ago.

In Pitt Meadows, the benchmark price for a condo is $485,700. That’s a 47-per-cent increase from a year ago.

Maple Ridge News