Metro Vancouver home sales surge 53%, hitting new December record

Rob Kruyt, BIV file photo

Unlike many British Columbians, home sales did not take a break over the holidays in Metro Vancouver.

Residential sales surged 53.4% year over year last month to a hit a new all-time record in the region, according to new data released Tuesday (January 5) from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

A total of 3,093 units were sold in December 2020, up from the 2,016 sales recorded the same month a year earlier.

It also marks a 0.9% increase from November 2020.

“Robust December sales outpaced long-term averages in what’s traditionally the quietest month of the year in real estate. This was part of an unusual seasonal pattern the market followed last year, which can be attributed in large part to the pandemic,” REBGV chairwoman Colette Gerber said in a statement.

The latest gains were 57.7% above the 10-year December sales average.

For the year, the region tallied a total of 30,944 home sales. That’s up 22.1% from the 25,351 sales recorded in 2019 and represents a 25.7% increase compared with the 24,618 sales in 2018.

However, the 2020 sales are still 2.8% below the 10-year sales average.

This decline comes after different levels of government began introducing measures to cool down white-hot markets in Vancouver and Toronto.

But the pandemic has brought on measures from the Bank of Canada to keep the economy chugging, including record-low interest rates.

“After adapting to the COVID-19 environment, local home buyer demand and seller supply returned at a steady pace throughout the summer, fall and winter seasons," Gerber said. "Shifting housing needs and low interest rates were key drivers of this activity in 2020. Looking ahead, the supply of homes for sale will be a critical factor in determining home price trends in 2021.”

The benchmark price for all residential properties, including condos and detached homes, across Metro Vancouver reached $1,047,400 by the end of 2020.

That’s up 5.4% from a year earlier.