The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s final statistics for 2020 mark a strong finish to what was a remarkable year for the Vancouver real estate market.
In total, there were 30,944 apartment, townhouse and condo sales in 2020 which was a considerable increase over the volumes seen in both 2019 (25,351) and 2018 (24,619). The surge in sales was most prominent in the single family market where 10,671 properties traded hands in 2020, a substantial increase over the past two years in which the single family market failed to eclipse 10,000 units. It marks the highest number of single family sales since 2017 when 11,518 homes were sold.
Price increases for single family homes followed suit in 2020, with the Board reporting a 10.2% year-over-year increase in the benchmark price. The condo and townhouse markets also saw year-over-year benchmark price increases at 2.6% and 4.9% respectively. While this price growth is not as impressive as that seen in the single family market, both multi-family markets are experiencing very high sales to active listing ratios that are well planted in sellers market territory, with townhouses at 50.4% and condos at 33.1%. These ratios suggest price increases are imminent for both.
So What Does This Mean For The Development Land Market North Of The Fraser?
The rapid increase in single family benchmark prices seen in 2020 is a boon for the outlook of both condo and townhouse markets as we head into 2021. With historically low-interest rates set to persist for the foreseeable future, the lack of supply of both single family homes and single family development sites in the Vancouver region will create substantial competition and continue to drive drastic price increases. As single family home prices continue to increase, many buyers will have to settle for a townhouse or condo, creating a knock-on effect of price increases in the multi-family market.
Not surprisingly, we are seeing incredible demand for both single family and townhouse land to start the year. Wood frame condo opportunities are also on the radar for many developers, however, there seems to be greater price and location sensitivity for those sites compared to ground-oriented sites. The current glut of available high rise condo land North of the Fraser River will likely result in this market being the last to recover from the pandemic induced halt, but there are reasons to be optimistic that such a recovery is imminent: current asking prices are substantially below historical peaks- as much as 50% in some areas. The perceived value of these sites may prove to be too much for developers to pass up, particularly those groups that have projects completing and need a new site to fill their project pipeline.
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 2020 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.