A housing survey by Royal LePage indicates prices in West Vancouver, B.C., are rising faster than any other major city in Canada — and offshore money from Asia is fuelling the rise.
Royal LePage says properties in West Vancouver posted the most massive gains over the third quarter, with the price of a detached bungalow climbing about 25 per cent since this time last year to an average price of $1.2 million.
Royal LePage realtor Bill Binnie says he first noticed a change this spring in two West Vancouver neighbourhoods, Ambleside and Dundarave.
"We were seeing examples of properties that were listed for perhaps $1.4 million and selling with multiple offers for $1.6 million."
Binnie said on average, 60 to per cent 70 per cent of multiple offers in those two neighbourhoods now come from mainland Chinese buyers.
He said buyers who had been snapping up properties in Richmond and Vancouver's West Side have turned their attention to West Vancouver.
Binnie said money from Asia is fuelling price increases across Metro Vancouver, but it's not as widespread an issue as people might think.
"It only makes up five to seven per cent of our total market," he said. "It just so happens that they are focusing their attention on some small expensive areas."
As an example, Binnie points to Coquitlam, which according to Royal LePage saw just a three per cent price increase from this time last year.
In Vancouver, the price of a detached bungalow still averages about $1 million — nearly three times the national average.