The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says home sales across the region returned to near record levels in May, driven by an increasing demand for condominiums and townhomes, rather than single-family homes.

"First-time buyers and people looking to downsize from their single-family homes are both competing for these two types of housing," said board president Jill Oudil.

According to the REBGV residential property sales rang in at 4,364 in May, a leap of 22.8 per cent over the 3,553 homes sold one month earlier.

May's numbers are about 10 per cent lower than sales recorded in May 2016, but a news release from the real estate board notes properties were changing hands at an all-time record one year ago.

It also says sales last month were 23.7 per cent above the 10-year May sales average and the third-highest selling May on record, despite a 15 per cent foreign buyers tax imposed by the B.C. government last year.

The composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $967,500, an 8.8 per cent increase over May 2016 and a 2.8 per cent increase compared with April 2017.