Greater Vancouver BC Real Estate Market Statistics

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market Overview

March housing sales skyrocketed more than 126% higher than in March 2020 – the month the COVID-19 pandemic began – to the highest monthly sales pace ever recorded in Greater Vancouver.

The composite benchmark home price leaped 9.9% in March from a year earlier and detached house prices surged nearly 18% higher to all-time high of $1.7 million.

The composite benchmark home price leaped 9.9% in March from a year earlier and detached house prices surged nearly 18% higher to all-time high of $1.7 million.

The unprecedented action of 5,843 sales in the month – more than 174 sales every day – blew past housing forecasts and eclipsed the former all-time sales record set in March of 2016, long recognized as the peak year for housing sales in the region.

Dexter Realty's Insights into What to Expect for the Future

We and other Dexter agents have been running on the frontline of the current pace, and we are detecting some buyer fatigue, which is understandable. Dexter economists add "This market can’t continue at this level forever and, as we’ve seen in previous years, March can be the high point of the year for housing sales. There could be some truth in that theory, but this year and this market is consistently shattering all the traditions."

We believe there is one wild card yet to be played and it could shift the housing market into hyperdrive later this year. This is a potential rebound of international buyers and immigration, which were credited for sparking high home sales in the mid-1980s and in 2016-18 and could do so again in 2021.

In March of 2020 foreign buyers accounted for 24 residential property transactions in Metro Vancouver, despite the provincial 20% tax on homes. But, after COVID-19 travel restrictions hit, that dropped to single-digits per month. We believe pent-up demand and a war chest is building and it could be unleashed on the Vancouver-area housing market later this year.

For instance, according to recent report from the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), $43.6 billion was transferred from troubled Hong Kong to Canada in 2020, and this, FINTRAC said, does not include transfers via cryptocurrencies, between financial institutions, or transfer under $10,000.

As well, Canada was posting the highest population growth in the developed world prior to COVID-19, according to Statistics Canada, with its 1.4% annual growth rate in 2019 more than twice as high as the U.S. and Great Britain, which tied for second place. The Canadian government has increased its annual immigration quota to 400,000 people per year. The inflow has been stalled by the pandemic but when that ends the rush into Canada will begin. Wild as the current Metro Vancouver market is right now, it may be the calm before the storm.

And with some calls to cool the market, and concern over low interest rates creating challenges when rates do eventually rise, we have to remember that Canada has one of the soundest lending practices in the world and with the current Stress Test in place, buyers are qualifying at rates much higher than we are seeing in the market place right now. So, while demand side measures are easy for governments to tinker with and implement, supply side realities need to be a focus or this rush of demand will once again be pushed into the future and create challenges yet again.

Market Highlights

  • Vancouver Westside: The price of a Vancouver Westside detached house in March was $3,286,200. That is up nearly 4% , or about $131,000, from the start of this year, but benchmark detached prices are still 5% below what they were in 2018. There were 148 detached sales in March, which was up from 87 in February and 108 in March 2020. Sales of townhouses in March were very strong, with the 108 sales more than double the 56 sold in the same month last year. The townhouse price reflects this, at a median of $1,550,000 in March, it was nearly $200,000 higher than a month earlier. Wow. The condo market, however, had 628 transactions in March and was by far the highest of any Metro Vancouver community! The median price spiked to $816,700 which is a 7.5% increase, or approximately $61,000, from January 2021.
  • Point Grey: The development of the 90-acre Jericho Lands (bound by West 4th Avenue, Highbury Street, West 8th Avenue, and West Point Grey Park) that will run from April 10-19 and outline plans for the biggest residential development in recent Westside history. Register to attend the public sessions.
  • Vancouver East Side: Vancouver’s East Side is seeing an acute shortage of housing. There is less than a one-month supply. A major developer has issued a proposal to build 520 condos in three towers on the old Safeway site across from the Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain station but it has already been met with protests. It will be years, before supply matches demand, which points to further increases in East Side condo prices, which were already 3% higher, year-over-year, in March to $619,000. Townhouse supply is even tighter.  As a result, the median townhouse price reached $1,210,000 in March, the highest level in history. Median detached house prices on the East Side in March hit $1,780,000 as sales more than doubled from a year earlier, to 244 transactions, which, incidentally, is 40% higher than on the Westside.
  • Burnaby East: One of the more affordable markets in Greater Vancouver is seeing intense buyer demand, with total sales up 159% in March compared to a year earlier, the highest increase in Burnaby. Even with a 58% increase in new listings in March, there were just 100 total homes for sale in the community, or about a one month supply. The supply is dwindling, it's a seller’s market and prices are rising. If you are a detached-house owner in Burnaby East and have considered listing, now may be a prime time to come to market. The benchmark price of a house was $1,380,700 million in March, up nearly 5% or about $65,000, from a month earlier.
  • Burnaby North: The final major-brand retailers are moving into the recently completed Brentwood shopping centre development, where thousands of new condominiums have already been built. The massive mixed-use project has spurred demand for all types of homes in the area, with total sales up 158% in March from a year earlier and 74% higher than in February. The large inventory of condominiums has kept price increases restrained. The benchmark condo price is now $637,600 (approximately $50,000 below the Lower Mainland average) but with 84% of listings selling in March and most of the new Brentwood condo towers complete, condo values are forecast to increase.
  • Coquitlam: City of Coquitlam has a development strategy that covers 1,789 acres radiating from the Coquitlam Town Centre.

Greater Vancouver Market Numbers

  • There was a welcome uptick in new listings in March compared to a year earlier, but the new arrivals were not enough to match buyer demand. Listings for detached houses increased 122% from March 2020, but sales increased 124% Townhouse listings were up by 122%, but that was nearly matched by the 112% increase in sales. In the condominium market, 64% more apartments were added to the market compared to a year earlier, but March sales surged 128% higher.
  • Despite a record-high benchmark price of $1,700,200, detached houses led the March market, accounting for 34% all transactions, compared to a 46% share by the condominium sector. Townhouse buyers accounted for only 19% of the market, but this is partially due to a severe lack of inventory. As of March there was only a one-month supply of townhouses in all of Greater Vancouver. This resulted in multiple offers that drove benchmark townhouse prices in March up 10.4% from a year earlier and nearly 5% higher than in February 2021, to $872,000, a record high.
  • As we predicted last month, strata sales are ramping up, led by condominium apartments which continue to represent the most affordable housing option. With the benchmark condo price rising an average of 3% per month since last October, it reached $715,800 in March, also an unprecedented high.

Fraser Valley MLS® HPI Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $1,237,900, the Benchmark price for an FVREB single‐family detached home increased 6.4 per cent compared to February 2021 and increased 25.3 per cent compared to March 2020.
  • Townhomes: At $624,500, the Benchmark price for an FVREB townhome increased 4.0 per cent compared to February 2021 and increased 13.7 per cent compared to March 2020.
  • Condominiums: At $465,400, the Benchmark price for an FVREB apartment/condo increased 3.2 per cent compared to February 2021 and increased 6.5 per cent compared to March 2020.

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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