Newly released statistics from the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) show the total residential sales volume in the province in 2020 reached $73.5 billion.
This represents a staggering increase of 35.6% over 2019, even with COVID-19’s impact over more than 10 months of 2020.
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A total of 93,953 residential unit sales were recorded last year, an increase of 21.5% from the 77,350 units sold in 2019.
The annual average residential price on MLS in BC was $782,027, which is an 11.7% increase from $700,369 in the previous year.
Home sales dropped significantly in the first few months of the pandemic, but the heightened level of activity ever since BC’s economic restart in late spring has been unwavering from both pent-up demand from the shutdown earlier in the year, changing housing preferences, and record low interest rates.
“Housing markets across the province staged a remarkable recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic and recession,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson in a statement. “We expect considerable momentum heading into 2021.”
In December, a total of 8,268 residential unit sales were recorded across the province, making it a record for the month and up 57.8% over the same period in 2019. The average MLS price in BC during the month was $847,600 — up by 12.5% from December 2019. The month saw total sales of $7 billion, which is a 77.5% year-over-year increase.
Ogmundson adds that while 2021 is expected to see a very strong start, the level of supply in the market is near a record low, and this will likely lead to immense pressure on prices until the number of active listings increases.
The sales-to-active listings ratio across BC in December 2020 was 39.9%, including 34.7% within the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s jurisdiction and 62.3% within the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s (Surrey included) jurisdiction. Downward pressure on home prices typically occurs when the ratio dips below 12% for a sustained period, and prices see an upward trend when it surpasses 20% over several months.
The total number of active listings in December 2020 was 20,725, down 16.1% year-over-year.