For more than 18 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has held the world hostage and the toll has been heavy. For many industries, survival remains to be seen. The housing market pretty much Canada-wide is definitely an exception. As unpredictable and extreme as the virus itself, housing activity across the Metro Vancouver has remained resilient, showing relentless growth in the face of one of the worst global economic crises in history.
Record-low interest rates, pent-up demand and scarce inventory are expected to continue for 2021, while shifting homebuying behaviours, spurred by new decisions about how and where we work and live, are transforming the Vancouver housing landscape as we know it.
- Record-low interest rates, pent-up demand and scarce inventory are expected to continue for 2021
- The Vancouver housing market is projected to remain in seller’s market territory throughout 2021, which means supply will stay low, triggering a continued rise in prices
- Condominiums located outside of the downtown core are drawing more first-time homebuyers than the condos located in the downtown core
Vancouver housing market forecast 2021
The Vancouver housing market is expected to continue as a seller’s market throughout 2021. A healthy housing supply is anticipated for the downtown core and low interest rates will continue to impact activity. Buyers are expected to search for larger properties in suburban areas as opposed to purchasing in the downtown core in 2021.
The MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,176,600 – a 13.2% increase over August 2020 and a 0.1% increase from July 2021
Who’s buying Vancouver real estate?
With more people working remotely than ever before across Canada, many Vancouver buyers have been choosing homes based on affordability, often outside of the city, versus being close to their workplace within the city core. This migration outside of urban areas has been a common trend across many Canadian housing markets as well as regions abroad, as homebuyers seek more square footage and green space, and less density.
Move-up buyers are currently driving demand in the Vancouver real estate market, which is expected to continue into 2021. Single-detached homes are the most popular property type with move-up buyers. Move-up buyers in the Vancouver housing market are typically young couples and families. This buyer group has experienced some difficulties when looking to purchase a new home in 2020 and 2021 thanks to Vancouver’s strong seller’s market.
First-time homebuyers in Vancouver are typically single homebuyers looking for condominiums. Condominiums located outside of the downtown core are drawing more first-time homebuyers than the condos located in the downtown core. It’s expected to be a bit more difficult for first-time buyers to enter the market in 2021 due to rising prices for condominiums in Vancouver.
Vancouver’s luxury market is currently driven by foreign buyers. The demand for luxury home increased in 2020 and 2021 due to interest rates being low. This is expected to continue into 2021 as long as rates remain low.
For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for August 2021 is 35%. The ratio is 25.3% for detached homes, 51.8% for townhomes and 39.2% for apartments
Vancouver real estate market statistics
While homebuyers remained active in Metro Vancouver throughout the summer, the supply of homes for sale has declined steadily since June.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 3,152 in August 2021 – a 3.4% increase from the 3,047 sales recorded in August 2020 and a 5.2% decrease from the 3,326 homes sold in July 2021.
August sales were busier than expected coming in 20.4% above the 10-year August sales average.
There were 4,032 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the MLS in Metro Vancouver in August 2021. This represents a 30.6% decrease compared to the 5,813 homes listed in August 2020 and a 7.9% decrease compared to July 2021 when 4,377 homes were listed.
Sales of detached homes in August 2021 reached 945 – a 13.7% decrease from the 1,095 detached sales recorded in August 2020. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,807,100. This represents a 20.4% increase from August 2020 and a 0.3% increase compared to July 2021.
Sales of apartment homes reached 1,631 in August 2021 – a 22.4% increase compared to the 1,332 sales in August 2020. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $735,100. This represents a 7.6% increase from August 2020 and a 0.2% decrease compared to July 2021.
Attached home sales in August 2021 totalled 576 – a 7.1% decrease compared to the 620 sales in August 2020. The benchmark price of an attached home is $952,600. This represents a 16.5% increase from August 2020 and a 0.3% increase compared to July 2021.
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