Metro Vancouver home sales hit record high in 2021

Region saw 43,999 residential real estate transactions – up 42.2% from 2020

Condos are visible across the Cambie Bridge | Rob Kruyt

The COVID-19 pandemic that prompted many Metro Vancouverites to work from home may also have encouraged people to take steps to ensure they lived in a home where they felt comfortable. 

Residential real estate transactions in 2021 surged across the region to an all-time high of 43,999, which was 42.2% more than the 30,944 sales recorded in 2020, and a 73.6% increase compared to the 25,351 homes that changed hands in 2019. 

The previous record for home sales in the region was 42,326, in 2015 – before governments put in place empty homes taxes and foreign buyers' taxes.

“Home has been a focus for residents throughout the pandemic," REBGV economist Keith Stewart said. "With low interest rates, increased household savings, more flexible work arrangements, and higher home prices than ever before, Metro Vancouverites, in record numbers, are assessing their housing needs and options.”

Listings increased, but to a lesser degree than sales. 

Home listings on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) platform in Metro Vancouver reached 62,265 in 2021, which is 14.7% more than the 54,305 homes listed in 2020, and a 19.9% increase compared to the 51,918 homes listed in 2019.

"Listing activity didn't keep pace with the record demand," Stewart added. "This imbalance caused residential home prices to rise over the past 12 months."

The benchmark price for a detached home in the region is $1,910,200, which is a 22% jump from December 2020, and a 2.1% increase compared to November 2021.

Attached homes increased in value to a similar degree, with those dwellings also increasing in price by 22%, compared with December 2020, to $1,004,900. Attached homes increased in price by 1.5% compared with November 2021.

Apartments saw a smaller 12.8% jump in value, compared with December 2020, and ended the year priced at $761,800. Those homes saw an average 1.2% price increase, compared with November 2021.

Despite strong home sales throughout 2021, the year ended with a bit of a thud. The region saw 2,688 home sales in December, which was 13.1% below the level in the same month in 2020, and a 21.6% decline from the level achieved in December 2019. 

December home sales in Metro Vancouver were, however, strong enough to be 33.4% above the 10-year average for sales in that month.