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VANCOUVER — Richmond and Vancouver's west side housing markets are red hot, according to a monthly real estate report released Wednesday.


“It’s a huge sellers’ market, the strongest in those areas I’ve ever seen,” Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president Jake Moldowan said in an interview. “And there’s no question that it’s the offshore market that’s focused on these two areas.”


According to reports by the REBGV and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, demand for detached homes remains strong across the region, with particularly high sales volumes and price increases in Richmond and Vancouver’s west side.


The REBGV report indicated that February’s 3,097 homes sales outpaced the 2,742 home-sale average recorded in the region over the last 10 years.


But Moldowan said that it's single detached homes in Richmond and Vancouver’s west side that are the most sought after properties in the marketplace.


The report noted that between November 2010 and February 2011, the benchmark price of a detached home in Richmond increased $190,739 to $1,099,679; and in Vancouver west side, detached home prices increased $222,185 to $1,850,072.


By comparison, detached home prices across Greater Vancouver increased $51,762 between November 2010 and February 2011 to $848,645.


The report said that sales of all residential properties in Greater Vancouver reached 3,097 in February 2011, an increase of 25.2 per cent from the 2,473 sales in February 2010.


Meanwhile, the FVREB processed 1,279 sales in February, an increase of six per cent compared with 1,204 sold during February 2010.


Board president Sukh Sidhu said the market is more active earlier than expected, with 659 homes sold last month compared to 398 in January.


In February, the benchmark price for Fraser Valley detached homes was $514,161, an increase of 1.2 per cent from the February 2010 price of $508,136.

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