How Vancouver real estate had its best November in 5 years in the middle of a pandemic

Jessy Bains
·2-min read

As surging COVID-19 cases forced further lockdowns, Metro Vancouver real estate had its busiest November since 2015.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) says 3,064 homes were sold during the month for a 22.7 per cent increase compared to November 2019, as near record low mortgage rates helped bring down monthly payments.

Sales dipped 16.9 per cent compared to October but were 24.6 per cent above the 10-year November average and the second highest for the period.

The MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all types of homes is up 5.8 per cent compared to November 2019 to $1,044,000. It’s relatively flat (down 0.1 per cent) compared to the previous month.

“Home buyer demand has been at near record levels in our region since the summer,” said REBGV chair Colette Gerber, in a release.

“This is putting upward pressure on home prices, particularly in our detached and townhome markets."

Detached homes led the way with a 28.6 per cent increase in sales compared to November 2019 and prices were up 9.4 per cent to $1,538,900. But even though parts of the condo market have been under pressure, apartment home sales were up 12.2 per cent and prices were up 3.4 per cent to $676,500.

The other side of the coin that’s putting upward pressure on prices is tight supply which isn’t keeping up with demand. There were only 3.2 per cent more homes listed for sale compared to a much slower November 2019.

The urban exodus continued with an 82 per cent year over year sales increase in the Sunshine Coast.

“While demand remained elevated across the region, home buyer activity was particularly focused in more remote areas like the Sunshine Coast, Gulf Islands and Squamish,” said Gerber.

“The rise of work-from-home arrangements and physical distancing policies is causing some home buyers to opt for less densified areas.”

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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