(Contributed)                                Another application in process on 224th Street, near Haney Bypass.                                (Contributed)                                Walkway and reflecting pool planned for downtown development.

(Contributed) Another application in process on 224th Street, near Haney Bypass. (Contributed) Walkway and reflecting pool planned for downtown development.

Maple Ridge housing market heating up

Downtown condo building sells out in days.

A condo building in Maple Ridge sold out within days and the market for that type of housing here has jumped 22.5 per cent in the past year.

The increase marks the difference in prices between the end of July this year, compared to the same time last year.

“We still have pretty high demand and pretty limited supply,” said Darcy McLeod, ReMax realtor and former president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

McLeod said the jump was caused not by foreign buyers, but by people moving to the Vancouver area. Metro Vancouver expects 35,000 more people to move here each year.

August was a usual slow month, but “overall, it’s been busier than normal,” said McLeod.

Despite the increase by more than a fifth in condo prices, McLeod said the hottest part of the market now is townhouses, averaging about $450,000.

Prices for the latter type of housing have jumped by 21.6 per cent. Meanwhile, single-family homes in Maple Ridge have jumped by 12.4 per cent.

McLeod said it’s still worthwhile to get into the housing market because demand is still there.

If a buyer signs a contract to buy a condo or townhouse that’s under construction, by the time he or she actually moves into it, the price will have gone up another 10 per cent.

People in other parts of the Lower Mainland have realized that Maple Ridge has mountains, he added.

The first phase of a four-phase, 230-unit apartment complex, located between Haney Place and Valley Fair malls, recently sold out within days.

Falcon Homes is building four new condo buildings on Selkirk Avenue and 227th Street. It’s already constructed two buildings next to the site, and they are already occupied. Falcon has just started the first of another four buildings.

That building, titled the Brickwater, which will have 39 new condos, sold out within two days.

About 1,000 people pre-registered online showing they were interested in the project, about double the usual number, said Fred Formosa, with Falcon Homes.

The buyers of those condos include all ages, he added.

“There’s a big mix of people and there’s also a big mix of age. One of the people who bought was 92 years old.”

At one point, it used to be those 55 years and over wanting to buy downtown. Now it’s young people, as well.

Mostly, the buyers are local or from the Coquitlam or Port Coquitlam area.

He said the growth that’s been seen in Langley may now be coming to Maple Ridge.

“I do feel myself that Maple Ridge has had a big jump.”

He, too, said that people are arriving in the Metro Vancouver from everywhere.

“We really do have a magical place in the Lower Mainland here with Vancouver and the mountains and oceans. I think we’re being discovered and we’re still not a very big city.”