Welcome to January 2021 – please fasten your seat belts
Some will express surprise that, as we enter the second year of a global pandemic, the rush to purchase homes in Greater Vancouver continues the startling sales pace seen in 2020. But there is a simple reason for the January surge: price appreciation as accelerating buyer demand collides with a stubborn lack of inventory.
In the past 12 months, the average price (based on dollar volume of sales) of a Greater Vancouver home has increased in value by $93,529, which is far higher than the average household income. In the detached house sector, where sales exploded in January, the average year-over-year price increase is well into the six digits. Dexter agents experienced this first hand during the last week of January as a North Burnaby detached house listing had a stunning amount of interest and showing requests. A significant number of multiple offers occurred, resulting in a sale that surpassed the $1.49 million list price. Each of these bidder was likely aware that, since January of 2020, the average detached house price in North Burnaby has increased by $283,456.
Multiple bids are being seen from West Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast to south of the Fraser River and in every property sector, from detached houses to condominium apartments. In Greater Vancouver during January, 53% of new listings sold, and the sales-to-listing ratio has surpassed 50% for the past seven months. There is little relief coming in new construction. As 2021 started, only 241 detached houses and 230 townhouses had started construction across all of Metro Vancouver, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. data. Of the total 1,628 new apartment starts, 28% were rentals and many of the remaining condo apartments had been pre-sold months earlier.
What to expect for the 2021 housing market? More of the same. With mortgage interest rates at 100-year-lows and home prices rising an average of nearly $8,000 per month, buyers and investors have awoken to an unprecedented buying opportunity.