Our busy summer has continued into fall, with the latest report from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) showing record numbers in September. While we’re all still navigating the uncertainties of the New Normal, it looks like the upward trend we saw in previous months is continuing.
Metro Vancouver’s home sale and listing activity reached record levels in September 2020, with home sales 44.8% above the 10-year September sales average. September 2020’s activity marked the highest total on record for the month.
“We’ve seen robust home sale and listing activity across Metro Vancouver throughout the summer months,” noted Colette Gerber, REBGV Chair. “This increased activity can be attributed, in part, to lower interest rates and changing housing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
September 2020 saw 3,643 residential home sales in the region—a 56.2% increase over last year at the same time, and a 19.6% from August 2019.
September’s Housing Market at a Glance
There were 6,402 homes newly listed on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) system in Metro Vancouver in September 2020. This number represents a 31.6% increase compared to the 4,866 homes listed in September 2019, and a 10.1% increase compared to August 2020, when 5,813 homes were listed.
There are now 13,096 homes listed on Metro Vancouver’s MLS® system, a 2.6% decrease compared to September 2019, and a 2.3% increase compared to August 2020.
The sales-to-active-listings ratio for all property types for September 2020 is 27.8%. By property type, the ratio is 28.3% for detached homes, 36.1% for townhomes, and 24.8% for condos.
Analysts generally expect home prices to dip when the ratio falls below 12% for a sustained period. Home prices often rise when the sales-to-active-listings ratio goes above 20% over several months. As demand outpaces supply, home prices go up.
“While the pace of new MLS® listings entering the market is increasing, the heightened demand from home buyers is keeping overall supply levels down,” Gerber noted. “This is creating upward pressure on home prices, which have been edging up since the spring.”
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,041,300. This price has increased since summer and represents a 5.8% increase over September 2019 and a 0.3% increase compared to August 2020.
Sales by Property Type
There were 1,317 sales of detached homes in September 2020, a 76.8% increase compared to September 2019’s 745 sales. The current benchmark price for a detached house is $1,507,500. This price represents a 7.8% increase from September 2019 and a 1.1% increase compared to August 2020.
Townhouse sales in September 2020 totalled 730, a 73% increase compared to September 2019. The benchmark price of an attached home is now $809,900. This price represents a 5.2% increase from last year and a 0.4% increase compared to August 2020.
Finally, there were 1,596 sales of apartment homes in September 2020, a 36.9% increase compared to September 2019. The benchmark price of a condo is now $683,500 — a 4.5% increase compared to September 2019 and a 0.3% increase compared to August 2020.
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