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Typical Greater Vancouver condo now costs $752,800

Market shift sees condominium apartment sales surging but November benchmark prices are 11.4 per cent higher than a year ago and still rising by nearly 1 per cent a month
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Most affordable option for Greater Vancouver home buyers now priced at more than three-quarters-of-a-million dollars. | Chung Chow

Condominium apartment sales now dominate the Greater Vancouver housing market but the intense demand drove the November benchmark price to a record high of $752,800, reports the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

In November, 1,828 condos sold, up 33.8 per cent from the same month in 2020, while sales of detached houses fell 7 per cent, year-over-year, to just 987 transactions and townhouse sales were down 3 per cent to 632 units.

Even with the November benchmark condo price increasing 11.4 per cent from a year ago – that is an annual cash return of about $85,000 , by the way – and up nearly 1 per cent from a month earlier,  apartments remain the least costly option for buyers in Canada’s most expensive housing environment.

The benchmark price for a detached house in Greater Vancouver in November was $1.87 million, up 20.8 per cent from November 2020 and 1 per cent higher than in October 2021.

The townhouse benchmark price is now $990,000, more than 20 per cent higher than a year ago.

Total November transactions were 33.6 per cent above the 10-year November sales average. 

“We expect home sale totals to end the year at or near an all-time record in our region,” Keith Stewart, REBGV economist said. “We’ve had elevated home sale activity throughout 2021 despite persistently low levels of homes available for sale. With a new year around the corner, it’s critical that this supply crunch remains the focus for addressing the housing affordability challenges in our region.” 

The total number of homes currently listed for sale in Greater Vancouver is 7,144, a 35.7 per cent decrease compared to November 2020 and a 11.1 per cent decrease compared to October 2021, when more than 8,000 homes were on the market.

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for November 2021 is 48 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 33.8 per cent for detached homes, 74.3 per cent for townhomes, and 53.7 per cent for apartments, the REBGV reports.

Condominium apartments also dominate new residential construction in Metro Vancouver, but rapid pre-sales at new projects is cutting into the inventory.

There are currently 25,088 new condos under construction across Metro Vancouver, which includes Surrey and Langley, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., but the total inventory of new and “unabsorbed” units was just 1,492 units as of November 1, the lowest level in three years.

An October study by research group MLA Canada estimated that up to 40 per cent of pre-sale condos were selling within a month of a project’s launch.