Vancouver Housing Market Update and Forecast
Home sales in the Greater Vancouver region rose above 3,000 for the first time in the month of November since 2015. Not even the pandemic can hold back the Vancouver housing market.
Residential home sales in greater Vancouver from 2498 properties last year to 3,064 sold in November 2020, a 22.7% growth. As the Covid 19 vaccinations take effect, the economic recovery and opening of the economy to international participants will make 2021 a boom year.
in November, sales actually dropped by 16.9% compared to 3,687 homes sold in October 2020. Revised October numbers may show even more strength for that amazing month.
Regardless of month to month variations in sales and prices, very similar supply vs demand fundamentals drive all housing markets.
Nothing Like Vancouver’s Real Estate Market
Yet Vancouver’s housing market is special given the amount of foreign buyers, limited geographical space, and the outpouring of buyers from Vancouver’s intense condominium landscape due to work from home and Covid 19 evasion.
Strangely, the province, i.e., Vancouver Island is seeing more in-migration from other Canadian provinces. Snowbirds and nomad workers are moving to BC to avoid the cold winter weather. Seemingly that would raise demand for houses and low-density homes, as well as rentals. They’re all hungry for BC real estate in some form.
Vancouver’s stats and outlook are very similar to Toronto’s housing market report where strong demand and migration trends occurred. The Vancouver market is marked by decreasing listings, growing demand, homeowners fearful to make a move, an uncertain economy still hampered by the Corona Virus, mounting city debt, and continued high taxation on real estate.
Vancouver Home Prices Rising
The average home price for a Vancouver home rose 5.8% year over year to $1,044,000. This represents a 5.8 per cent increase over November 2019, but is down just .1 per cent vs October 2020.
The benchmark price for a detached house jumped 1% from October to $1,538,900, but this is till up 9.4% from last November.
The benchmark price of an apartment in Metro Vancouver has risen 3.4% from last November to a new level of $676,500. Surprisingly, that is up 3.4% from last month.
Home Sales Slumped from October
REBGV reported a 22.7% increase in home sales in November, rising to 3,064 properties from 22498 last November. However, home sales decreased 16.9% from last month.
Sales likely dropped due to unease among buyers during the pandemic surge and lesser confidence about the Canadian economy. The US election likely caused hesitation in buyers in all housing markets.
“Home buyer demand has been at near record levels in our region since the summer. This is putting upward pressure on home prices, particularly in our detached and townhome markets.” said Chair Colette Gerber of REBGV.
Supply is the key factor as usual and it’s been hampering sales all through summer, while helping to push prices ever higher.
Vancouver Home Prices November
House Prices continue their relentless growth heading into 2021. Lower mainland saw price growth of 1.2%, while Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge both saw rises above 1.5%. Whistler and Squamish saw their continuous popularity with price rises of 3.2% and 3.1% respectively.
Stark reduction in homes listed on the Vancouver MLS.
Condo, Attached, Apartment Sales
REBGV also reported 4,068 sales of detached, attached and apartment homes newly listed for sale on MLS® in Metro Vancouver during last month. That is a 36.2% growth against the 2,987 homes listed back in November 2019. It’s also a substantial 27% decrease to last month when 5,571 homes were up for sale.
The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is
11,118, a 3.2 per cent increase compared to No
So far BC residents have responded well to social distancing and caution, and a good guess that containment will continue. The back to work and back to school events this fall are worrying, but if there are outbreaks, the BC government will respond quickly.
Despite what the CMHC says about 2021, home, apartment, townhouse and condo units will cost more in 2021. CMHC’s forecast for housing starts is decidedly unclear with a big upper and lower range. Keep in mind, that recessionary calls in the housing market have persisted for many years, with no such result.
Vancouver Home Sales & Prices November 2020
Residential home sales in Greater Vancouver rose to 3,128 units in July 2020. That was a 22.3% jump from the 2,557 sales last July 2019, and up 28% from the 2,443 homes sold last month.
You have to take economic expert forecasts with a grain of salt. They did not foresee people holding onto their homes so stubbornly or the exodus from apartment buildings and downtown areas due to the work at home trend and fear of Covid 19. These events are real and are affecting sales in Vancouver.
Vancouver’s jump and in sales and price is a welcome event for sellers who may be considering a move to less densely populated regions of the province or even out of province.
Vancouver Real Estate Agents
Vancouver is an unusual real estate market which only the local Realtors fully understand. Homeowners here may see fewer options for moving or relocating and could hold onto their homes indefinitely. Only higher taxes, cost of living and lower quality of life might encourage them to put their home or apartment up for sale.
Those bad old memories of so few houses for sale and the wicked price rises when buyers have the resource to big come back to mind. BC’s Covid 19 cases have been rising, but don’t look serious enough to warrant a shutdown. Still, buyers will be shy about committing to buying a house or condo if they’re on the borderline for affordability.
And in eastern BC in the Okanagan, home prices in Kelowna Vernon and Penticton were on the rise, despite falling inventory and sales.
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Vancouver Home Price Predictions 2021
Adding to good outlooks for the Vancouver housing market is the post-pandemic euphoria. It will be strong, and immigration will return as will foreign students returning to study in lower BC. Students will help fill up those condo vacancies in Richmond, Surrey, Burnaby, Kitsilano, Point Grey and other neighborhoods.
The resumption of International trade and with foreign students and investors returning will give Vancouver’s economy a big boost. We should remember how good things were back in 2015 before the US presidential change. Some Realtors are comparing 2021 to 2015.
Capital Economics’ Stephen Brown offers his home price forecast of a 3% rise in 2021 and 5% in 2022 which will be a an 8% from current prices. So far prices are rising fast which supports Brown’s housing forecast.
Vancouver 5 Year Home Price Trend
BCREA is its housing forecast is all onboard with a prediction of rising sales in 2021. Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA’s Chief Economist said in a recent release BC residential sales are forecast to grow 9.7% to 99,240 units in 2021.
However, he does believe pent-up demand from the pandemic will ease thus easing price pressure.
Central1’s Economic Outlook
Pessimists Point to Fiscal Problems that Suggest a Housing Crash
CMHC has boldly forecasted a dour outlook for the next two years, with the trough appearing in late summer of 2021. That view has little support and sales stats in Vancouver, Okanagan, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Mississauga, York Region and the rest of the GTA continue to show big demand and rising prices.
Housing markets are so severely short of supply, it would take something very dramatic, like the pandemic to suppress sales. The pandemic in fact, is helping to accelerate sales that never would have happened (outflow from cities to suburbs and small towns).
Vancouver’s economy will certainly be challenged however with the positive outlook for a vaccine, we could see huge demand in 2021 when the vaccinations are in full swing.
Low low mortgage rates are definitely on the side of buyers. If an economic crash should happen with a Democrat win in the election, then of course, all Canadian housing markets will be hit hard.
Vancouver Realtor Gives his summary on November’s market
Besides Covid 19 and vaccines, the role of the CAD vs USD exchange rate should be mentioned. The Canadian dollar is surging against the USD, as the US struggles with its surging pandemic problem and no stimulus deal.
The Canadian government just announced a $100 billion stimulus package beginning in 2021, which will give the BC an extra boost going forward. Oil, natural gas, metals, and forestry products should all increase in price which further supports a good outlook for the Province of British Columbia.
Vancouver is still a key port for Canadian exports, and as imports grow the Vancouver terminal should be busy in 2021.
BCREA Economic Dashboard
Unemployment up, home sales plummeting, and house prices falling across the province.
And Canadian economists were holding out hope for increased China US trade which is very unlikely to happen in 2020 or 2021 with the deficit created by the Corona Virus pandemic.
With the Saudis are vowing to pour 13 million barrels of oil on the oil markets for many months. The low price oil will shatter real estate markets in Dallas, Denver and Calgary. However it should fire up the economies in Los Angeles, New York and in Florida.
Once the Saudis realize this, they may pull back on production. But for now, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal will enjoy the cheap oil, while Calgary and Alberta will not so much. Incidentally, Calgary and Edmonton may soon offer the best real estate bargains in North America ahead of even Texas and Colorado.
Vancouver Housing Price Timeline
Cities covered under the jurisdiction of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Burnaby, Coquitlam, Vancouver, West Vancouver, Richmond, Whistler, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, South Delta, Squamish, and the Sunshine Coast. See housing prices for each city below. See also mls sales stats for Kelowna Vernon Penticton.
Here’s a great look at the recent history of home listings in the GVA
Home Sales Across BC
BCREA’s latest market report from May shows that a total of 4,518 residential home sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May 2020. That is down 45.2% from May of last year. Not too much of a surprise. The average MLS® residential price in BC in May was $728,898, 3.2% higher than the $706,394 recorded in May 2019. Total sales dollar volume in May was down 43.5% to $3.3 billion, compared to 2019.
New Home Construction
BC Economic Outlook
The pandemic, oil price shock, and more uncertainty about who will win the US Presidential election makes previous economic outlooks not very credible. However, for what it’s worth here is BC’s economic outlook for the next 2 years.
It’s disgraceful what’s happening in BC, that new housing isn’t being built. NIMBY’s are making life really difficult and the government’s anti-development policies will ensure ultra high real estate prices. If demand hits as the experts say it will, Vancouver could be in for another period of deep suffering in high rent to income, and more homelessness issues.
Buying in Vancouver? Keep your eye on the big picture and key economic events and see which neighborhoods are going to drop in price the most. West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Port Moody, North and Port Coquitlam, appear to be the most vulnerable.
Certainty is Returning to Markets
With the exit of President Trump, the clock is turned back to 2015. This time, China is in the driver’s seat as they haven’t been ravaged by Covid 19, the disease they launched. They’re off to a roaring start, but goods being imported into Canada and then sent to the US should help support Vancouver’s real estate market.
A return of tourists will have a dramatically positive economy impact. From downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park to the Airport, up to Squamish and Whistler, the resumption of visitors in will be great.
Just as in the Toronto real estate market, the condo market should be revived once Covid 19 is tamed. Yet demand for life in BC is so strong, even the new condo developments will see lots of offers in late 2021.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta. Burnaby, Squamish, and West Vancouver suffered the largest monthly drops in house prices.
Vancouver remains perhaps the most unaffordable city in North America based on home price vs income. And with new mortgage rules Vancouverites have found themselves not much better off. Ask any post secondary student about housing. However, it’s expected that new investment will pour into student hotel housing projects.
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REBGV is The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, a member-based association of more than 14,000 REALTORS® who live and work in the Vancouver region.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade Associations. It’s membership includes more than 125,000 real estate brokers, agents and salespeople, working through 90 real estate Boards and Associations across Canada.