In terms of single-family homes of a certain size, Burnaby is the third most expensive place to buy real estate in Canada, according to Coldwell Banker Real Estate.
Coldwell Banker released a listing report on Thursday that examined its average active listing prices for four-bedroom, two-bathroom single-family homes in 75 markets across the country between January and June of this year.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's most recent statistics for the month of October differ slightly, though the board bases its findings on a typical property within each market - not a specific size or type of single-family home.
Coldwell Banker found that Vancouver's average list price for that specific type of property was nearly $1.88 million, Richmond's was $1.18 million, and Burnaby's was $917,968.
Arthur Ng, co-owner of Coldwell Banker Westburn Realty in Burnaby, said the city has been in the top three in the past but this is the first time Richmond has been second.
"I would say it's fairly new in that Richmond was always less expensive than Burnaby," he said in a phone interview Thursday. "I guess it's all relative. It depends on what you're looking at."
Ng believes the demand in Richmond pushed the city into the top three, he said.
"So now with the Asian market, Richmond has actually been bumped up because of the demand from Asian buyers," Ng explained.
As places in Vancouver's westside and Richmond are bought up and prices increase, buyers will look to Burnaby, Ng predicted.
"I think that Burnaby, their prices are going to be creeping up as well, because it is a desirable area, and it is close to town and close to the airport," he said.
But while single-family homes of that particular size may be expensive, there are still affordable options, he pointed out.
"If you can't afford a house, you know what, townhouses and condos, they're not bad places to live in," he said. "It's just a matter of, people's expectations have to change."
The North Shore, which Ng said had previously been one of the most expensive markets, was not included in this report, nor did it appear in the 2011 or 2010 reports.
Richmond was not listed in those two previous reports, either.
Coldwell Banker examined the average listing prices for four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes on its website between January and June for the report, excluding markets that had fewer than five such listings.
The real estate board releases its findings for the region on a monthly basis, and in Burnaby and Vancouver divides the cities into multiple markets.
According to the board's October report, the average price for a benchmark - typical - single-family home in Burnaby was $882,166. The highest market was South Burnaby, at $988,600, while the lowest market was East Burnaby, at $742,400.
The benchmark price for Greater Vancouver overall was $927,500.
Vancouver came in at $1.45 million, while West Vancouver, North Vancouver and Richmond all had higher benchmark prices than Burnaby.
In 2011, Coldwell Banker found that Vancouver's average price for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home was $1.54 million, with Kelowna coming in second at $1.09 million, and Burnaby coming in third at $797,455. In 2010, Vancouver was again highest at $1.32 million, Kelowna was second at $916,697, and Oakville, Ont. came in third at $741,638.
Burnaby came in fourth at $705,746.