Metro Vancouver Housing Update January 2021

Metro Vancouver’s housing market ended 2020 strong, with robust December sales that capped a year marked by steady buyer demand.The latest report from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) shows home sale activity that continues to outpace supply. With interest rates that remain low, buyer demand is unlikely to go down anytime soon.

Last month’s sales continued the upward trend we saw at the end of 2020. “With home sale activity well above our January average, the supply of homes for sale isn’t able to keep pace. This is causing increased competition amongst home buyers and upward pressure on prices,” noted Colette Gerber, REBGV Chair. 

January’s Housing Market at a Glance

Last month’s residential home sales in Metro Vancouver totalled 2,389. This number represents a 22.8% decrease from December 2020’s sales numbers, but if we look at the bigger picture, it marks a 52.1% increase from the 1,571 sales recorded in January 2020. Last month’s sales were 36.4% percent over the 10-year January sales average.There were 4,480 homes newly listed on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) system in Metro Vancouver in January 2021. This number represents a 15.7% increase compared to January 2020 and an 86% increase over December 2020.There are now 8,306 homes listed on Metro Vancouver’s MLS® system, a 3.6% decrease compared to January 2020 and a 2.7% decrease compared to December 2020. 

January’s Sales-to-Active-Listings Ratio and Composite Benchmark Price

January’s sales-to-active-listings ratio for all property types is 28.8%. By property type, the ratio is 26.3% for detached homes, 37.6% for townhomes, and 27.8% for apartment homes. Analysts generally expect home prices to dip when the ratio falls below 12% for a sustained period. Home prices often rise when the sales-to-active-listings ratio goes above 20% over several months. “Shifting housing needs during the pandemic and historically low interest rates have been key drivers of demand in our market over the last six months,” Gerber said. “People who managed to enter the market a few years ago and have seen their home values increase are now looking to move up in the market to accommodate their changing needs.”The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver ended 2020 at $1,056,600. This price represents a 5.5% increase compared to the previous year and a 0.9% increase compared to December 2020. 

Metro Vancouver Home Sales by Property Type

Detached Homes
There were 740 sales of detached homes in January 2021, a 68.6% increase over January 2020. The current benchmark price for a detached house is $1,576,800. This price represents a 1.4% increase from December 2020 and a 10.8% increase over last year. 

Attached Homes
Attached or townhouse sales in January 2021 totalled 454, a 42.8% increase compared to January 2020. The benchmark price of an attached home is now $815,800. This price represents a 4.3% increase over last year and a 0.2% increase compared to December 2020.

Apartment Homes
There were 1,195 condo sales in January 2021, a 46.8% increase compared to January 2020. An apartment home’s benchmark price is now $680,800, a 2.2% increase over last year and a 0.6% increase compared to December 2020. 

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