Continued high price increases in the Vancouver area are sustained by simple economics laws, according to Vancouver’s real estate authority, which released a report on the numbers of houses for sale and the number sold.

2,519 properties were sold in Metro Vancouver in January, a 31.7 percent increase from the year before, and 46 percent above the 10-year sales average for a January, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

The reason, Darcy McLeod, president of REBGV said, was simple economics: “Fundamental economics are driving today’s market. Home buyer demand is at near record heights and home seller supply is as low as we’ve seen in many years.”

While sales are up, listings are down. Metro Vancouver listings are down 38.6 percent from the year before.

This means, for real estate agents, Vancouver is a seller’s market. The sales-to-active listings ratio for January was 38 percent, well above the number analysis look for to indicate such a market, which is 22 percent.

Accompanying the seller’s market status are higher prices. The benchmark price for a detached house in Vancouver rose 25.9 percent over the year. The number is currently $1,273,100. Apartments rose 15.9 percent to $443,400.

Vancouver is currently the third-most unaffordable city in the world, following only Sydney and Hong Kong, according to Demographia’s survey (pdf).