The COVID-19 pandemic is proving a boost to home sales, as demand pushed prices skyward, especially in outlier markets.
In Greater Vancouver, home sales in November were up 22.7 per cent compared with the same month in 2019, to 3,064 transactions. This is the first time since 2015 that November home sales in the region have topped the 3,000 threshold.
The increase in the number of homes sold in the Fraser Valley rose at an even brisker pace, with November sales rising to 2,173 – up 54.7 per cent compared with the same month in 2019.
The benchmark price in November for all home types in the Greater Vancouver region rose to $1,044,000, or 5.8 per cent more than it was a year ago.
To break those purchases down by type, the benchmark detached-home price in Greater Vancouver rose 9.4 per cent year-over-year, to $1,538,900, while the benchmark apartment, or condominium, price rose 3.4 per cent year-over-year, to $676,500. Finally, the benchmark price for attached homes rose 5.6 per cent year-over-year, to $814,000.
Outlier markets are out performing the board data, with sales on the Sunshine Coast up 82 per cent in November from the same month last year, and the benchmark price of a detached house 17 per cent higher, at $668,000.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) pinned the year-over-year rise in the average price for all property types at just over 23 per cent in November.
That rise was likely in part prompted by more sales for more expensive properties, as that rise was not seen within any specific property class.
Each residential real estate class in that region, however, saw an uptick in value. The average price for a single-family home rose year-over-year by 11.5 per cent to $1,061,500, while the average price for townhomes rose 5.8 per cent year-over-year, to $570,100, and the average price for apartments rose by 4.6 per cent year-over-year, to $435,900. Note that these are average prices, and not benchmark prices, so the data could be affected by more luxury homes selling.
“We’re running out of superlatives," FVREB president Chris Shields said. "We expected November activity to moderate due to the season, but the desire for family-sized homes and their benefits continues to dominate. Since the summer, we’ve seen the strongest demand in our board’s 99-year history, specifically for single-family detached and townhomes."
Sales were up for each individual real estate class in the two regions as well.
In Greater Vancouver, buyers snapped up 1,061 detached homes, or 28.6 per cent more than they did in November, 2019. For apartment or condominium sales, buyers in Greater Vancouver bought 12.2 per cent more homes than they did in November 2019. Attached home sales saw the largest bump, as they were up 40.1 per cent, to 632 properties, compared with the 451 homes that transacted in November 2019.
“Home buyer demand has been at near record levels in our region since the summer,” said REBGV chairwoman Colette Gerber. She added that this is putting upward pressure on home prices, particularly for detached and townhome properties.
"The supply of homes for sale are a critical factor in understanding home price trends," Gerber said. "The total number of homes for sale in Metro Vancouver is lagging behind the pace of demand right now. This trend favours home sellers in today's market."