BC housing market sets new records for prices, demand in November

It had an "unseasonably strong" month, defying grim predictions of a second wave slowdown

BC housing market sets new records for prices, demand in November

Despite the prevailing environment of risk brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak, sustained demand significantly increased home prices across British Columbia last month, according to recent data from the British Columbia Real Estate Association.

The average residential price in the province reached a record-high of $816,074 in November, up 9.3% annually. Active listings fell by 14% during the same time frame, which reduced the sales-to-active-listings ratio to 34.8%.

Total sales volume in November was $7.68 billion, a 55.4% increase from the same month last year. Total transactions came in at 9,416 units, up 42.1% over the same time frame.

“Home sales were once again unseasonably strong in November with several markets setting records for the month,” said Brendon Ogmundson, chief economist at BCREA. “While demand continues to be strong, the supply of listings has reached near-record lows in several parts of the province, with prices rising sharply as a result."

Vancouver proved to be the epicentre of this strength: Figures from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver showed that the region’s November home sales volume of 3,064 transactions (up 22.7% annually) “outpaced seasonal norms and long-term averages.”

This was the first time since 2015 the November reading exceeded 3,000 transactions.

Despite new listings rising by 36.2% year-over-year, the composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver stood at $1.044 million, 5.8% higher than it was a year before.

“Home buyer demand has been at near record levels in our region since the summer. This is putting upward pressure on home prices, particularly in our detached and townhome markets,” said Colette Gerber, chair of the REBGV.