Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market Overview
Housing sales hit the highest monthly level since June 2017, with prices arcing nearly 9% higher than a year earlier to a composite benchmark of $1,084,000. The typical detached house now sells for more than $1.62 million –an average increase of $221,000 from February 2020 – with sales up 80% from a year ago.
"Detached houses have been the headline news in Metro Vancouver for the past year, but we believe February marked the beginning of a major shift towards the townhouses and condominium sector" reported Dexter's chief economist Kevin Skipworth.
February townhouses sales were up 82% year-over-year and condo apartment sales were 65% higher. Together, strata property sales accounted for nearly 65% of all February transactions, with condo apartments leading all sectors with a blistering pace of 62 sales every day. Condo developers reported “a sense of urgency” in new condo sales in February as 1,400 new condos started construction and 1,759 existing condos sold.
There is a lack of detached houses to meet demand, despite a 21% spike in new listings in February, and there has been a chronic shortage of townhouses, with just a 1.5-month supply now available. In Port Moody and Maple Ridge there were almost twice as many townhouse sales as active listings in February. And on Vancouver’s West Side the number of townhouse sales in February were the highest since June 2017.
Investors, we believe, are pivoting to condos, looking towards the easing of pandemic regulations that will bring vibrancy back to downtowns and foreign students back to Metro Vancouver campuses. Affordability is part of the equation. In the past year, condo prices have increased just 2.5%, while townhouse prices jumped 7.2% and detached houses soared 13.7%. In East Vancouver, as one example, the typical condo apartment sells for $599,000 while a neighbouring detached house sells for $1.58 million.
Dexter Realty's economists conclude "For an increasing number of buyers, condominiums are now the first, the smartest and only choice."
What to Expect for the Future
We are now experiencing a perfect storm that is churning housing demand and prices to unprecedented heights. Mortgage interest rates are at the lowest level in our lifetime, even our parents lifetime. This combines with intense buyer demand and simply not enough listings, all in an environment where the home is now the centre for living and work for thousands of families. Multiple offers are now the majority of transactions. We don’t see that changing anytime soon.
- Least expensive detached house: Maple Ridge, $972,600
- Most expensive detached house: Westside, Vancouver, $3.3 million
- Least expensive condo apartment: Port Coquitlam, $481,300
- Least expensive townhouse: Maple Ridge, $594,300
- Highest annual home sales increase: Tsawwassen, up 138%
Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Greater Vancouver Market Numbers
- Total housing units sold in February were 3,852 were up 57% from the 2,454 in January 2021, 76% higher than February 2020, and a startling 155% increase compared to February 2019. Total active listings were at 8,851 at month end, compared to 9,894 at the same time last year and 8,831 at the end of January 2021; New listings in February were up 12% compared to January 2021, up 26% compared to February 2020 and up 30% compared to February 2019. Yet the sales-to-listings ratio, a key metric, February was 74%, signally a robust seller’s market, and perhaps strongest performance in history. In February of 2016, the former peak year for housing sales, the sales ratio was 56%.
Fraser Valley MLS® HPI Benchmark Price Activity
- Single Family Detached: At $1,163,400, the Benchmark price for an FVREB single‐family detached home increased 5.1 per cent compared to January 2021 and increased 19.9 per cent compared to February 2020.
- Townhomes: At $600,300, the Benchmark price for an FVREB townhome increased 3.4 per cent compared to January 2021 and increased 10.1 per cent compared to February 2020.
- Condominiums: At $450,900, the Benchmark price for an FVREB apartment/condo increased 2.5 per cent compared to January 2021 and increased 5.3 per cent compared to February 2020.
Source: Fraser Valley Real Estate Board
Canadian Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates increased. View the current rates at ThinkMortgages.com
What Does This Mean To You?
Depending on what you're buying or selling, there are many opportunities for both buyers and sellers in today's market.
Every neighbourhood and home is unique. So, as your real estate professionals, we're always here to help. We can fill you in on what’s happening in your local market, help you determine what type of homes you can purchase, provide the current value of your existing home and provide a clear idea of the properties currently available.
You don’t have to try to figure things out on your own! We're here to help.
Even if you’re just at the “thinking about it” stage, we recommend getting the information you need now. That way, you’ll be prepared to make the best decision when you’re ready.
So, How Are We Conducting Our Business to Keep Everyone Safe?
As real estate is deemed an essential service by the government, we're able to continue to help clients buy and sell real estate during Covid-19.
As always, the safety of our clients, community and all those involved, is our top priority.
Therefore, we’ve implemented safety precautions, viewing guidelines and are working virtually and electronically as much as possible. Masks and social distancing are the new norms.
For sellers, we continue to create floor plans, videos, 3D virtual tours and high-end marketing for our listings. This is extremely important to buyers and sellers in these times. It allows buyers to preview the property from the safety of their home and determine if a private showing is warranted. Therefore, sellers will have less people viewing their home in person, but the ones who do, are more serious about their home.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
View Detailed Market Statistical Packages
To view all the details of the current Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver West and Vancouver East real estate market statistics and graphs, just click the desired buttons below to open a detailed PDF report.
Sources: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver & Fraser Valley Real Estate Board