High demand for condominiums and townhomes has continued to drive home sales in the Vancouver-area real estate market, according to the latest numbers from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

So far this year, those sales have accounted for 68.5 per cent of residential sales, up from 58.2 per cent last year, the board said in its April release.

"Demand has been increasing for months and supply is not keeping pace," said Jill Oudil, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

"We're seeing more multiple offers [on condos and townhomes] than I've seen in a long time if not ever."

Overall, the market is still operating below the height of the real estate frenzy seen this time last year. In April, residential property sales were down 25.7 per cent from the year before, and also slightly lower than March 2017.

For sale sign 3 bedroom townhome

Townhomes and condos are increasing in price faster than single-family detached homes in the Vancouver area, says the real estate board. (David Horemans/CBC)

Condo prices rising faster than houses

Oudil said the demand for attached homes is coming both from older buyers downsizing, and younger buyers trying to get into the market.

"Condos are still ... more affordable than the detached, or even the townhomes," she said.

"It's just more attainable for young people to get into the market."

With increased demand, condo prices are rising faster than house prices, said Oudil.

"I'd say it's almost a reverse of what's normal and typical where condos and detached homes are concerned."

Across the Lower Mainland, the benchmark price for condos has gone up 8.2 per cent over the past three months, compared to 5.5 per cent for townhomes and 3.2 per cent for single-family homes.

Over that period, the biggest changes in condo prices were in:

  • Coquitlam: 10.1 per cent increase.
  • Vancouver East: 9.5 per cent increase.
  • Richmond: 9.0 per cent increase.

Some areas did still see large increases in single-family detached home prices, including Port Coquitlam (9.9 per cent) and Coquitlam (7.2 per cent).

The REBGV covers Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, South Delta, Whistler, Squamish, and the Sunshine Coast.