The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation say increased demand for condos and apartments drove prices up 20 per cent compared to the year before at the end of the third quarter and continued to rise by the end of December. File photo.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation say increased demand for condos and apartments drove prices up 20 per cent compared to the year before at the end of the third quarter and continued to rise by the end of December. File photo.

With the price of detached homes unaffordable for many looking to buy in Greater Victoria, the demand for condos and apartments has increased.

But the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) say with a low supply of units, those are starting to become less affordable as well.

CMHC released its quarterly housing assessment Tuesday and says price growth is most evident for apartments.

At the end of the third quarter of 2017, prices went up 21 per cent compared to the year before, with a 14 per cent jump for townhouses and 13 per cent for detached homes.

The agency says price growth for apartments continued to rise to the end of December.

CMHC says the only area to show increased sales from last year were apartments and townhouses in the Saanich Peninsula and apartments in the West Shore.

In the urban core of Victoria, sales of apartments nearly matched the mark of detached homes.

The Victoria Real Estate Board said the benchmark price representing a typical property for a condo sold in Greater Victoria in December was $445,000.

That’s an increase of nearly $75,000 from the benchmark price of a condo in December 2016 — a jump of 20 per cent.

The benchmark price for a detached home in Greater Victoria in December $692,800.

For much of the year, CMHC reported home sales were down compared to the record-setting pace of 2016, but the final quarter of the year matched the pace of 2016 levels.

The home market assessment saw overvaluation in Metro Victoria for the fourth consecutive quarter.

While population and employment grew, the CMHC reports the average income growth backtracked in the third quarter and lags behind the increase in average home prices.

Andy Neal