It was a record-breaking month in January 2021 for home sales across British Columbia, according to the newly compiled statistics by BC Real Estate Association (BCREA).
Over the course of the month, real estate boards in the province recorded a combined total of 7,169 home sales. This represents an increase of 63.3% over January 2020, and over a thousand sales higher than the previous record for January.
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The average listing price was $845,169 — a 16.1% increase from $728,269 over the same period in 2020. As well, total sales reached $6.1 billion, which is up by 90% from January last year.
“It was once again a record-setting month for the provincial housing market,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson in a statement.
“While sales were strong across all regions of the province, the Fraser Valley, Interior and Vancouver Island regions shattered previous sales records and pushed January sales to new heights.”
The number of active listings was down 21.5% to 20,254 units in January, making it the lowest level of provincial active listings since 2000. Strong demand and low supply are leading to “exceptionally tight” market conditions, leading to an upward pressure on prices.
“The supply of listings continues to be held back by the pandemic,” added Ogmundson. “With so few listings, markets are starved for supply and prices are under extraordinary pressure.”
In January 2021, the sales-to-active listings ratio in real estate board jurisdictions reached 70% in Chilliwack, 45.8% in Metro Vancouver East and Fraser Valley, 27.8% in Greater Vancouver, 50% in Kamloops, 48.4% in Vancouver Island, and 61.4% in Victoria.
Downward pressure on home prices typically occurs when the ratio dips below 12% for a sustained period. Prices see an upward trend when it surpasses 20% over several months.
The greatest year-over-year price changes were the increases of 57.7% in Powell River, 28.5% in Kootenay, 26.7% in Okanagan Interior, and 25.8% in Metro Vancouver East and Fraser Valley. Greater Vancouver, comprised mainly of Metro Vancouver West, was comparatively timid with an increase of 11.2%.
Greater Vancouver also recorded $2.67 billion in sales over the month, while Fraser Valley and Surrey saw $1.52 billion.