The final statistics for 2021 are out from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and they show a solid conclusion to what has been a bustling year for the Vancouver real estate market. Even amidst the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Metro Vancouver home sales hit an all-time high in 2021, as residents’ housing needs remained a primary priority.
In total, there were 43,999 apartment, townhouse and condo sales in 2021, which was a considerable increase over the volumes seen in both 2020 (30,944) and 2019 (25,351); it was also a 4% increase over the yearly record of 42,326, which was set back in 2015. More impressively, however, the 2021 sales were 33.4% above the 10-year average.
Statistically speaking, listings also increased compared to previous years, reaching 62,265 in 2021. This is a 14.7% increase compared to 2020 (54,305) and a 19.9% increase compared to 2019 (51,918). Although the listings in 2021 were also 11% above the 10-year average, they didn’t keep up with the record-setting level of sales that were taking place over the course of the year. Because of this imbalance, there was a consistent upward pressure on home prices over the course of the year.
What does this mean for development land?
At the start of 2021 we saw developers get off the sidelines and begin to participate in the action again. The market started off strong and kept that momentum for a good portion of the year; even the previously sleepy markets were garnering more interest as buyers were widening their parameters to find opportunities. Over the course of the year, development sites were picked over and buyers were seeing a shortage of readily available land to buy and the focus for many of the large local developers shifted to the suburban markets and purpose-built rental. Towards Fall and year-end, buyer activity began to calm down. Although the market was still strong, it wasn’t as frantic as we were seeing in Spring.
Looking ahead to what 2022 will bring, we can expect to see continued pressure on land prices, as well as revenue numbers continuing to creep up. Although the readily developable land has been mostly picked over, there are still opportunities where some work may be required to make it a desirable development site (i.e. assembly work, servicing, etc). For those developers who were very active in the market in 2021, it’s likely that they will see out their current projects before pursuing more opportunities in the area.
Check out our curated summary of the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board’s December Stats in our infographic 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 2021 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.