Metro Vancouver home sales strong in 2020: REBGV

Despite the pandemic, home sales in Metro Vancouver last year were strong, according to a Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver report Tuesday.

The 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 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 to 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 home buyer 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 Vancouver ends the year at $1,047,400, a 5.4 per cent increase compared to December 2019, according to the report.  The cost of an apartment increased 2.6 per cent in the region last year, while townhomes increased 4.9 per cent and detached homes increased 10.2 per cent.

For December, the report says there were 3,093 homes 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,” said Gerber, 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.

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