The December statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver show a strong finish for 2019’s residential market, generating optimism that the momentum built over the last half of the year will continue into 2020.
Compared to December 2018, December 2019 sales volume increased by 88.1% to a grand total of 2,016 units. Suggesting that the surge in sales is more than a simple return to the market’s mean, the monthly sales total was also 9.5% above the 10 year sales average for December, which is typically a slower month for real estate sales in Greater Vancouver. By property type, both condo (+96.8%) and townhouse (+92.6%) nearly doubled sales volume from December 2018, while detached homes saw a healthy 72.1% increase.
The number of new homes listed on the MLS declined for the third consecutive month in December. The 1,588 homes listed in December represents a 46.8% decrease compared to November 2019 and brought the total number of homes listed in Greater Vancouver to 8,603. This total number of listings is a 20.1% decrease month-over-month and a 16.3% decrease from December 2018. Looking at 2019 as a whole, the total number of active listings in Greater Vancouver fell off a cliff in the fourth quarter and are now approaching levels not seen since the peak of the market several years ago.
For the second time in three months, benchmark prices increased for all product types in December. Condos led the way with an increase of 0.8% month-over-month. Townhouses followed closely behind with an increase of 0.7% and detached homes were up 0.6% for the month. Should the number of homes coming to market every month remain low and sales remain steady, it stands to reason that prices will continue to rebound from the declines observed over the last couple -years.
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE DEVELOPMENT LAND MARKET NORTH OF THE FRASER?
The increase in MLS sales over the last several months has helped reignite development land buyer’s interest in opportunities across the region. While this is a promising trend for development land vendors, it’s critical to remember that prices are down considerably from the peak of the market and a successful marketing campaign for any development site must be based upon realistic pricing expectations that acknowledge today’s market conditions.
A sustained increase in demand from developers for residential development sites will likely put upward pressure on land prices over the medium to long term, however there are still a substantial number of available opportunities on the market that will satisfy demand for the short term. Due to these dynamics, most developers we engage are seeking greater profitability and more favourable deal terms when entertaining a potential acquisition.
Check out our curated summary of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s December stats in infographics below.
Please note: areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.
View the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s entire stats package for December 2019 here.
This representation is based in whole or in part on data generated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy.