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A for-sale sign stands outside a home in Vancouver on June 12, 2018.JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

Detached homes continued to lead the way as sales in the Vancouver area neared a record level in October.

The latest monthly figures from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) show October home sales were up 29 per cent from the previous year, and the total sales of 3,687 homes topped September’s figure by 1.2 per cent.

That puts this past month 34.7 per cent above the 10-year October sales average, the second-highest total on record for the month.

New listings were down from September, highlighting a years-long trend that has accelerated throughout the pandemic as fewer homeowners listed their houses and buyer demand continued to outstrip available supply. The only exception is in condo apartments, the increasing supply of which is shifting the balance more toward buyers.

“I wouldn’t call this market strong, I’d call it massively imbalanced,” said Shaun Cathcart, a senior economist for the Canadian Real Estate Association. “For all of Canada, the number of listings in February were at a 13-year low, now it’s a 16-year low … But sales are setting records month after month. Across all of Canada we’re [at] 2.6 months of inventory, that’s the lowest we’ve ever reported. Everywhere is tightening up.”

The home-price index, a composite benchmark price, sits at $1,045,100 in Metro Vancouver, a 6-per-cent increase from October, 2019, and up 0.4 per cent from last month.

Detached homes and attached homes (townhouses and semis) continued to lead the growth in sales in October, with benchmark prices growing 8.5 per cent year-over-year to $1,523,800.

There were almost 400 more detached homes sold during the month compared with a year earlier (1,335, up from 938, a 42-per-cent increase). The number of listings fell 14.6 per cent from September, while sales were up 1.6 per cent month-over-month.

“With demand on the rise, homes priced right for today’s market are receiving attention and, at times, garnering multiple offers,” Colette Gerber, REBGV chair said in a release.

The benchmark price for attached homes increased more slowly, up 5.4 per cent from 2019 to $813,000, but sales jumped 45.9 per cent year-over-year (782 transactions compared with 536). Attached listings were down 14.8 per cent from September, but sales were up 7 per cent.

Condominium sales remained sluggish in comparison, up 13.4 per cent from 2019 (1,570 compared with 1,384). The benchmark price was $683,500, flat from the previous month and up 4.4 per cent year-over-year. Listings were down 11 per cent from September, and sales also fell 1.6 per cent.

New listings in condominiums were up 53 per cent from a year earlier, with 2,891 for sale compared with 1,887. New listings rose fastest in Vancouver west, from 517 apartments for sale in 2019 to 850 available today, and apartment sales in that district were up just 6 per cent year-over-year but down 3.2 per cent from September.

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