A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C., on June, 12, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward)

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C., on June, 12, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward)

Vancouver’s real estate market up 22% in 2020, despite pandemic

December’s sales were almost 58 per cent higher than same month’s 10-year average

  • Jan. 5, 2021 8:00 p.m.

Unexpected and unpredictable – that’s the sentiment coming from newly-released 2020 real estate numbers for Metro Vancouver.

With its busiest-ever December, Metro Vancouver’s 2020 real estate numbers were buoyed by a total housing sale increase of 22 per cent – rising from 25,351 in 2019 to 30,944 in 2020, according to Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Board chair Colette Gerber said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate market took a heavy hit in March. “We knew, however, that shelter needs don’t go away in times of crisis, they intensify.”

After adapting to the new normal of pandemic protocols, and managing expectations of what the future would hold, home buyer demand and seller supply returned strongly in the fall, with the added boost of low-interest rates, fueling interest.

With a benchmark price of $676,500 for an apartment, and $1.55-million for a detached house, December’s sales were almost 58 per cent higher than the average December over the last 10 years.

“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,” Gerber said.

Adil Dinani, Royal LePage real estate advisor, suggested that due to the pandemic “the definition of what a ‘home’ is for people has become crystal clear,” and that is what is driving record-breaking growth.

“If you’re a buyer, maybe you need more space. If you’re a seller, maybe you’re realizing you need less space. I think you have priorities that have come to the forefront of the market,” Dinani said.

Seeing a shift away from the condo market in the first half of 2020, Dinani suggested that the migration of homeowners to the eastern parts of Metro Vancouver will continue in 2021, and the freeing up of entry-level homes, in response.

With interest rates at record breaking lows, first home buyers could finally get their foot in the door. “First time buyers that were renting before are now saying, ‘Wow, now, I can almost own for a similar monthly expenses as renting,’” Dinani said.

However, with a 23-per-cent reduction in available listings comparatively to this time last year, the market is still in a favorable position for those seeking to sell.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Real estate

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

Signage on a South Surrey sidewalk reminds pedestrians to respect social-distancing guidelines. (Photo: Tracy Holmes)
Surrey records 4,400 COVID-19 cases in March

New cases almost doubled between February, March

Surrey RCMP are looking for these two men after a bank in the 12800-block of 96th Avenue was robbed on March 12. (Images: Surrey RCMP)
Police release images of two men suspected of robbing Surrey bank

Robbery happened on March 12 at bank in 12800-block of 96th Avenue

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

People stroll through rows of tulips in bloom during the Tulips of the Valley Festival on May 2, 2017. The colourful spring event, now called Chilliwack Tulips, opens on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Fraser Valley tulip attraction returns this weekend for 1 month

More than 6.5 million bulbs in all at this year’s colourful Chilliwack Tulips event

Most Read