Gloria Hamilton stands in front of a home in Maple Ridge’s Academy Park subdivision, which recently sold for well over the asking price. (Ronan O’Doherty/ The News)

Gloria Hamilton stands in front of a home in Maple Ridge’s Academy Park subdivision, which recently sold for well over the asking price. (Ronan O’Doherty/ The News)

Bidding wars driving up real estate in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows

Price of houses up some 20 per cent over last year

Competition among buyers is driving up home prices in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and across the region.

Longtime Maple Ridge Realtor Gloria Hamilton said bidding wars on properties are now commonplace, as agents from Vancouver, Richmond and other communities bring buyers to shop for homes in these suburbs.

“The prices they are seeing here are not what they are used to seeing” she said. “Maple Ridge is an affordable community compared to Coquitlam, Richmond, Vancouver…”

The result, that the 169 house sales in Maple Ridge last month was the most of any community in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

Hamilton said she has a listing in Academy Park for almost $2.6 million, that has three offers already and she is expecting two more. Offers are coming in above the asking price.

She also has a house in Hammond for sale listed at $889,000, “and it’ll go way over asking. I already have lots of showings on it.”

The effect on prices has been dramatic. There were 264 sales of attached homes in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows through January and February 2021, and the median selling price is $1,070,000. That compares to January and February of 2020 when there were 165 houses sold for an average price of $880,000.

House prices are up 21 per cent in Pitt Meadows and 18 per cent in Maple Ridge compared to one year ago.

They are still comparatively affordable, however, because the board reports that the benchmark across the Lower Mainland is more than $1.4 million.

Gloria and her husband Steve, of Royal LePage Brookside Realty, have been selling properties for 46 years, and while they have seen hot markets before, she said the current conditions are as favourable to sellers as she has seen.

As more properties are listed, and interest rates rise, these “cooling factors” will soften prices, she predicted.

Residential home sales in the region totalled 3,727 in February 2021, which was a 73.3 per cent increase from the 2,150 sales recorded in February 2020, and a 56 per cent increase from the 2,389 homes sold in January 2021. Last month’s sales were 42.8 per cent above the 10-year February sales average.

“Metro Vancouver’s housing market is experiencing seller’s market conditions. The supply of listings for sale isn’t keeping up with the demand we’re seeing,” said Colette Gerber, REBGV chair. “Competition amongst home buyers is causing multiple offer situations and upward pressure on prices.

“Low interest rates remain a key driver in today’s market. We’re seeing steady numbers of first-time home buyers and move-up buyers entering the market,” Gerber added.


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