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Early sales point to hot Vancouver home market

Greater Vancouver home sales as of January 15 were running far ahead of the same time last year, early data shows
January home sales heating up. | Dan Toulgoet

The Greater Vancouver housing market has continued its blistering sales pace, with total transactions running 67 per cent ahead of year ago as of January 15.

The market “is about to hit the next gear,” said Kevin Skipworth, partner and managing broker of Dexter Associates Realty, Vancouver, which released the early data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) on January 19.

As of mid-January, 977 homes have sold, compared to 583 units sold at the same time in January 2020 and 396 sold at mid-month in January 2019.

The much-watched sales-to-listing ratio jumped to 45 per cent as of January 15, compared to 19 per cent at the same time a year ago, the data shows.

This is an indication of a seller's market and rising prices, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Generally, downward pressure on home prices occurs when the sales-to-listing ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it consistently surpasses 20 per cent, according to the REBGV.

Despite the pandemic, 2020 housing sales increased 22.1 per cent compared to 2019, according to the REBGV, and the year ended with December sales soaring 53.4 per cent above the same month a year earlier, with the benchmark composite price rising 5.4 per cent to $1,047,400.

As of January 15, this benchmark price had increased to $1,110,021, according to Dexter Associates.

Total new listings so far in January are 2,185 compared to 1,924 at this point in January 2020 and 1,940 in mid- January 2019. Total active listings are at 8,593 compared to 8,870 at this time last year and at 10,183 at the same date in 2019.

“While we are seeing more new listings coming on to the market this year, it just is not enough to satisfy the demand,” Skipworth said. “This is going to put pressure on prices to rise and continue the pattern of multiple offers.”