The Province

De­cem­ber home sales sur­pris­ingly up

Real es­tate board says COVID-19 didn't pull bloom off real es­tate mar­ket

- TIF­FANY CRAW­FORD ticraw­ford@post­media.com Business · Real Estate · Infectious Diseases · Health Conditions · Vancouver · Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

De­spite the COVID-19 pan­demic, home sales in Metro Van­cou­ver and the Fraser Val­ley were strong in 2020, with the year end­ing with a record-set­ting De­cem­ber, ac­cord­ing to a cou­ple of real es­tate re­ports Tues­day.

A Real Es­tate Board of Greater Van­cou­ver (REBGV) re­port says there were 30,944 home sales in 2020, a 22.1 per cent jump from the 25,351 sales in 2019, and a 25.7 per cent in­crease from the 24,619 homes sold in 2018.

Last year's sales to­tal was 2.8 per cent be­low the 10-year sales av­er­age, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

REBGV chair Co­lette Ger­ber says that although the hous­ing mar­ket came to a stand­still in March when the pan­demic hit, hous­ing needs in­ten­sify in a time of cri­sis.

Home list­ings were also high in com­par­i­son with past years.

The REBGV says list­ings on the Mul­ti­ple List­ing Ser­vice reached 54,305 in 2020, a 4.6 per cent in­crease com­pared with 2019, and up 1.3 per cent from 2018.

“Af­ter adapt­ing to the COVID-19 en­vi­ron­ment, lo­cal home­buyer de­mand and seller sup­ply re­turned at a steady pace through­out the sum­mer, fall and win­ter sea­sons,” Ger­ber said in a state­ment Tues­day. “Shift­ing hous­ing needs and low in­ter­est rates were key driv­ers of this ac­tiv­ity in 2020.

Look­ing ahead, the sup­ply of homes for sale will be a crit­i­cal fac­tor in de­ter­min­ing home-price trends in 2021.”

The com­pos­ite bench­mark price for all res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties in Metro ends the year at $1,047,400, a 5.4 per cent in­crease com­pared with

De­cem­ber 2019, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. The cost of an apart­ment in­creased 2.6 per cent in the re­gion last year,

while town­homes were up 4.9 per cent and de­tached homes in­creased 10.2 per cent.

For De­cem­ber, the re­port says there were 3,093 home sales, the high­est to­tal for the month on record.

Last month's sales rep­re­sented a 53.4 per cent in­crease from the 2,016 sales recorded in De­cem­ber 2019, and a 0.9 per cent in­crease from the 3,064 homes sold in Novem­ber 2020.

Ger­ber said ro­bust De­cem­ber sales out­paced long-term av­er­ages in what's tra­di­tion­ally the qui­etest month of the year in real es­tate.

“This was part of an un­usual seasonal pat­tern the mar­ket fol­lowed last year, which can be at­trib­uted in large part to the pan­demic,” Ger­ber said in the state­ment.

The bench­mark price for a de­tached home is $1,554,600 and $676,500 for an apart­ment, while the av­er­age price of a town­house is $813,900.

Mean­time, in the Fraser Val­ley, an­nual homes sales were up 12.4 per cent above the 10-year-av­er­age, which the Fraser Val­ley Real Es­tate Board says was be­cause of “un­re­lent­ing, pent-up con­sumer de­mand dur­ing the

sec­ond half of 2020.”

In De­cem­ber, there were 2,086 sales, the strong­est De­cem­ber on record, and 81.2 per cent above nor­mal for the month, ac­cord­ing to the board.

New list­ings in De­cem­ber were the sec­ond high­est on record at 1,502.

By month's end, ac­tive in­ven­tory fin­ished be­low typ­i­cal lev­els, at 3,949 units.

To­tal sales vol­ume for the year in the Fraser Val­ley was 19,926, up 28.7 per cent com­pared with 2019's 15,487 sales.

 ?? DAR­RYL DYCK/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS ?? The Real Es­tate Board of Greater Van­cou­ver says real es­tate ac­tiv­ity ended 2020 on a pos­i­tive note driven by low in­ter­est rates de­spite COVID-19, over­com­ing the set­backs that were seen in the spring.
DAR­RYL DYCK/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS The Real Es­tate Board of Greater Van­cou­ver says real es­tate ac­tiv­ity ended 2020 on a pos­i­tive note driven by low in­ter­est rates de­spite COVID-19, over­com­ing the set­backs that were seen in the spring.
 ??  ?? CO­LETTE GER­BER
CO­LETTE GER­BER

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