“ There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be...John Lennon

Last year I started this report with John Lennon’s lyrics about the new year and hoping it was a good one… Well, the real estate market came alive, but a global pandemic isn’t what anyone would call a good year. In keeping with the legendary artist though, back in March who would have imagined that December would be a record month for the number of properties sold in that month. The analysis and questions of how this could happen during such a global crisis will be a topic for many conversations, and while record low interest rates play a part, a lot of it comes down to one simple reason: everyone’s life was turned upside down, where they live became one of the most important influences in the lives of many in 2020. And as we move through 2021 and life changes again for some, real estate will again be a focus of finding that right place to live and for some what seemed like the right place in 2020 may not actually be the right place in 2021.

 
There were 3,157 properties sold of all types in Greater Vancouver in December this year compared with 3,131 sold in November, 2,046 sales in December last year and 1,094 sold in December 2018. It was the highest number of sales for the month of December on record in Greater Vancouver, shattering the previous December highs in 2015 at 2,905 and 2003 at 2,609. Total sales for 2020 were 31,611 up 23 per cent from 2019 and 26 per cent from 2018. The number of sales in 2020 were only 6 per cent below the 20-year average – pretty incredible considering the grinding halt of activity in March, April and May. It was definitely a tale of two markets in one year with there being 11,471 sales in the first 6 months and 20,140 in the last 6 months of 2020. Multiple offers were common more than not in the last half of 2020, and more so in detached and townhomes as outdoor space and distance from those around us was coveted. While apartments in downtown Vancouver had seen less activity in comparison, that started to change as the year closed out and buyers began to see opportunity amongst the increase in active listings. We will see more activity in the apartment market as 2021 continues and vaccines become more and more available. As activity in business and events come back so too will the desire to live close to the action.
 
Looking at the different types of properties, detached home sales were up 30 per cent year over year (new listings were down 6 per cent), townhouses sales were up 31 per cent year over year (new listings were up 3 per cent), apartment sales were up 12 per cent year over year (new listings were up 13 per cent). Detached homes made up 34 per cent of all sales (32 per cent in 2019), while townhomes made up 19.5 per cent (18 per cent in 2019) and apartments 44.4 per cent (48.4 per cent in 2019).

 

So how do we sum up the year in Greater Vancouver real estate month by month?


January – Optimism for a new year after 2 very slow years
February – Market on the rise
March – Tale of two months – robust start followed by sudden halt
April – 30 more days of March
May – Can we really buy and sell real estate?
June – Yes, we can buy and sell real estate
July – Let’s buy and sell real estate
August – Vacation or buy and sell real estate? Buy and sell real estate!
September – Kids back to school, buyers and sellers will be distracted
October – Buyers and sellers not distracted – strongest month for sales in 2020
November – Market is slowing
December – Market isn’t slowing, strongest December on record

 

2020 Average Daily Listings and Sales in Greater Vancouver by Week:

 
First two weeks of March – 253 new listings, 138 sales
Last two weeks of March – 167 New Listings, 98 Sales
April – 120 new listings, 56 sales
May – 189 new listings, 75 sales
June – 274 new listings, 115 sales
July – 274 new listings, 147 sales
August - 299 new listings, 157 sales
September – 313 new listings, 176 sales
October – 272 new listings, 182 sales
November – 212 new listings, 161 sales
November 30 to December 4 – 165 new listings, 163 sales
December 7 to 11 – 147 new listings, 140 sales
December 14 to 18 – 122 new listings, 152 sales
December 21 to 25 – 68 new listings, 143 sales
December 28 to 31 – 76 new listings, 138 sales
 
The number of active listings in Greater Vancouver dropped quickly through December. Even though the number of new listings in December were 38 per cent above the 10-year average for the month, the total number of active listings at the end of December dropped to 9,096 from 13,066 at the end of October. There were 9,309 active listings at the end of December 2019. As typically happens at the end of December a number of listings expire on December 31st which resulted in there being 8,144 as the calendar turned to 2021. At the start of 2020 there were 8,231 active listings in Greater Vancouver. Detached homes made up 42 per cent of total active listings at the start of 2020 while only 32 per cent of current active listings are detached properties in 2021. Townhouse and apartments were 51 per cent in 2020 and 62 per cent currently. Demand for detached homes continues to be strong and with the limited number of homes available, there will be strong competition amongst buyers resulting in multiple offers and pressure on prices as we move through 2021. If a pandemic doesn’t trip up the real estate market, vaccines and recovery surely will have more of a positive impact in activity going forward.
 
What has truly driven the real estate market in 2020 and will it continue to drive the market in 2021? Interest rates are at the lowest we’ve seen, enabling buyers to take advantage of increased purchasing power and opportunity. Buyers that had been on the fence in 2018 and 2019 due to tightened lending restrictions and a hesitation in the market as buyers and sellers wanted to see what would come of increased taxes on purchasing real estate and attempts to curtail demand. The first decade of this century actually saw 8 per cent more real estate transactions than 2010 to 2019. Considering the increase in the number of homes available in the last 10 years compared to 2000 to 2009, it shows that pressure was building for movement to happen. Bring on the pandemic and it jump started movement on a very large scale. To think this movement has been captured in the last 6 months alone, would be a naïve position to take. With interest rates likely to remain low for the next few years, savings rates at all-time highs as consumers are spending less on social and recreational activities and the amount of money pumped into the economy by government, there’s no reason to think sales activity will slow in the near future. As has been the case and will continue to be the case, there just are not enough homes available to meet the demand of buyers in our market place. As much as many resists the notion that real estate should be a commodity, it is. And one in which many take great pride in living in.  

“When the pandemic began in March, the housing market came to a near standstill. We knew however, that shelter needs don’t go away in times of crisis, they intensify,” Colette Gerber, REBGV Chair said, “The real estate community worked closely with our regulatory bodies and public health officials in the spring to ensure appropriate precautions and protocols were in implemented to BC REALTORS® could help residents safely meet their housing needs. After adapting to the COVID-19 environment, local home buyer demand and seller supply returned at a steady pace throughout the summer, fall and winter seasons. Shifting housing needs and low interest rates were key drivers of this activity in 2020. Looking ahead the supply of homes for sale will be a critical factor in determining home price trends in 2021.”
 
East of Vancouver, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 2,086 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® in December, the strongest December on record and 81.2 per cent above normal for the month. There were 19,926 total sales in 2020, which was 28.7 per cent higher than 2019 at 15,487 and the fourth highest sales since 2011. During 2020, there were 8,176 detached home sales, 5,102 townhouse sales and 4,357 apartment sales.  Year-over-year the increase in detached home sales was 41.7 per cent, for townhomes 31.2 per cent and apartments 5.9 per cent. There were 1,502 new listings in December which was the second highest on record. December finished with 3,949 active listings, down from 5,847 active listings at the end of November. “The pandemic upended everything in 2020 and how the real estate market responded to it was nothing short of remarkable. No one could have anticipated a six-month stretch like we’ve just experienced. Typical seasonal cycles did not apply, how we conduct business had to change to keep the public safe; and most unexpected, has been the unwavering demand for family-sized homes in our region and so far, there is no sign of it slowing down.” Chris Shields, President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board said.
 

Here’s a summary of the numbers:

 
Greater Vancouver: Greater Vancouver: Total Units Sold in December were 3,157 – up from 3,131 (1%) in November 2020, up from 2,046 (54%) in December 2019, up from 1,094 (189%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 9,096 at month end compared to 9,309 at that time last year and 11,716 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 40% compared to November 2020, up 50% compared to December 2019 and up 71% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 3 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions with few areas of balanced conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 127% compared to 75% in November 2020, 123% in December 2019 and 75% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 5.4%.
 
Vancouver Westside: Total Units Sold in December were 486 – up from 470 (3%) in November 2020, up from 356 (37%) in December 2019, up from 190 (156%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 2,022 at month end compared to 1,687 at that time last year and 2,558 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 47% compared to November 2020, up 39% compared to December 2019 and up 63% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 4 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions with some areas of balanced conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 115% compared to 59% in November 2020, 117% in December 2019 and 73% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 8.4%.
 
Vancouver East Side: Total Units Sold in December were 348 – down from 364 (4%) in November 2020, up from 208 (67%) in December 2019, up from 113 (208%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 922 at month end compared to 800 at that time last year and 1,232 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 44% compared to November 2020, up 66% compared to December 2019 and up 102% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is at 3 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions with few areas of balanced conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 130% compared to 76% in November 2020, 129% in December 2019 and 85% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 10.2%.
 
North Vancouver: Total Units Sold in December were 250 – down from 264 (5%) in November 2020, up from 155 (61%) in December 2019, up from 99 (152%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 458 at month end compared to 466 at that time last year and 693 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 51% compared to November 2020, up 47% compared to December 2019 and up 107% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 2 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 153% compared to 79% in November 2020, 140% in December 2019 and 125% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 9.1%.
 
West Vancouver: Total Units Sold in December were 82 – down from 90 (9%) in November 2020, up from 46 (78%) in December 2019, up from 30 (173%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 449 at month end compared to 505 at that time last year and 558 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 41% compared to November 2020, up 12% compared to December 2019 and up 5% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 5 month’s supply (mostly balanced market conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 122% compared to 80% in November 2020, 77% in December 2019 and 47% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 8.4%.
 
Richmond: Total Units Sold in December were 343 – up from 335 (2%) in November 2020, up from 281 (22%) in December 2019, up from 122 (181%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 1,376 at month end compared to 1,540 at that time last year and 1,637 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 40% compared to November 2020, up 19% compared to December 2019 and up 51% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 4 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions with few areas of balanced conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 113% compared to 64% in November 2020, 110% in December 2019 and 61% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 4.9%.
 
Burnaby East: Total Units Sold in December were 41 – up from 37 (11%) in November 2020, up from 24 (71%) in December 2019, up from 17 (141%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 65 at month end compared to 112 at that time last year and 105 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 50% compared to November 2020, down 10% compared to December 2019 and down 5% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 2 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 216% compared to 97% in November 2020, 114% in December 2019 and 85% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 8.3%.
 
Burnaby North: Total Units Sold in December were 171 – up from 156 (10%) in November 2020, up from 113 (51%) in December 2019, up from 50 (242%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 470 at month end compared to 322 at that time last year and 594 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 33% compared to November 2020, up 136% compared to December 2019 and up 106% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 3 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 104% compared to 63% in November 2020, 161% in December 2019 and 63% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 5.4%.
 
Burnaby South: Total Units Sold in December were 148 – up from 159 (7%) in November 2020, up from 132 (12%) in December 2019, up from 51 (190%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 574 at month end compared to 464 at that time last year and 669 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 29% compared to November 2020, up 85% compared to December 2019 and up 43% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is at 4 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions with few areas of balanced conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 103% compared to 78% in November 2020, 169% in December 2019 and 50% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 2.4%.
 
New Westminster: Total Units Sold in December were 151 – up from 137 (10%) in November 2020, up from 77 (96%) in December 2019, up from 58 (160%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 331 at month end compared to 260 at that time last year and 462 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 45% compared to November 2020, up 82% compared to December 2019 and up 102% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 2 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 162% compared to 82% in November 2020, 151% in December 2019 and 126% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 4.5%.
 
Coquitlam: Total Units Sold in December were 309 – up from 260 (19%) in November 2020, up from 197 (57%) in December 2019, up from 89 (247%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 566 at month end compared to 568 at that time last year and 782 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 43% compared to November 2020, up 80% compared to December 2019 and up 78% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 2 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 146% compared to 70% in November 2020, 167% in December 2019 and 75% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 6.5%.
 
Port Moody: Total Units Sold in December were 78 – up from 67 (16%) in November 2020, up from 37 (111%) in December 2019, up from 29 (168%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 155 at month end compared to 138 at that time last year and 226 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 40% compared to November 2020, up 82% compared to December 2019 and up 218% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 2 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 153% compared to 79% in November 2020, 132% in December 2019 and 181% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 6.0%.
 
Port Coquitlam: Total Units Sold in December were 105 – up from 102 (3%) in November 2020, up from 84 (25%) in December 2019, up from 51 (106%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 133 at month end compared to 186 at that time last year and 199 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 13% compared to November 2020, up 78% compared to December 2019 and up 158% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 1 month’s supply (seller’s market conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 102% compared to 86% in November 2020, 145% in December 2019 and 128% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 6.6%.
 
Ladner: Total Units Sold in December were 34 – up from 47 (28%) in November 2020, up from 20 (70%) in December 2019, up from 23 (48%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 66 at month end compared to 136 at that time last year and 88 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 21% compared to November 2020, the same amount as December 2019 and up 114% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is at 2 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions with few areas of balanced conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 113% compared to 124% in November 2020, 67% in December 2019 and 164% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 7.5%.
 
Tsawwassen: Total Units Sold in December were 74 – up from 55 (35%) in November 2020, up from 26 (185%) in December 2019, up from 13 (469%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 176 at month end compared to 193 at that time last year and 248 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 44% compared to November 2020, up 126% compared to December 2019 and up 231% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 2 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions with few areas of balanced conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 172% compared to 71% in November 2020, 137% in December 2019 and 100% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 8.4%.
 
Pitt Meadows: Total Units Sold in December were 26 – down from 46 (43%) in November 2020, down from 27 (3%) in December 2019, up from 23 (13%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 47 at month end compared to 54 at that time last year and 64 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 47% compared to November 2020, up 53% compared to December 2019 down 51% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 2 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 130% compared to 121% in November 2020, 207% in December 2019 and 56% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 5.7%.
 
Maple Ridge: Total Units Sold in December were 214 – up from 176 (22%) in November 2020, up from 130 (65%) in December 2019, up from 73 (193%) in December 2018; Active Listings are were at 371 at month end compared to 557 at that time last year and 484 at the end of November; New Listings in December were down 19% compared to November 2020, up 57% compared to December 2019 and up 132% compared to December 2018. Month’s supply of total residential listings is down to 2 month’s supply (mostly seller’s market conditions) and sales to listings ratio of 129% compared to 86% in November 2020, 123% in December 2019 and 102% in December 2018. Year-over-year, the House Price Index is up 8.9%. 


Download December Sales and Listings Statistics Houses Townhouses Condos


Download December Sales and Listings Statistics All Regional

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.