December is upon us, and with a potential COVID vaccine on the horizon, we are beginning to see a glimmer of hope for a return to normalcy. With that being said, though, we still see many closures of seasonal events, such as the cancellation of the Vancouver Christmas Market at the Jack Poole Plaza. However, I have found some fantastic events still happening this month that will be a good opportunity for the family to get out and enjoy some festiveness.
Bright Nights Christmas Train is back!
December 8th- January 1st
This is a great event for children and a nostalgic affair for the parents. COVID measures are in place, and the train is open from 4 pm to 10 pm (tickets are available to be purchased in advance online only!) and for only $10 a ticket, this is an easy must if you live in Vancouver or the Greater Vancouver area!
VanDusen Botanical Gardens
December 8th to January 3rd
Reimagined for 2020, visitors will have the opportunity to take in the festival and experience the wonder of the winter season in a magical outdoor garden setting with themed areas, unique light features, and holiday music. A new one-way path will take visitors through a memorable holiday experience with ample outdoor space for attendees to physically distance from others. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available for $14.
Glow Garden: Drive Through Light Show
December 8th to January 2nd
The Glow Elves have created a brand new, COVID-friendly experience in Langley, back at the original home of Glow (Milner Village Garden Centre)! The drive-through, contactless light journey will take you through dazzling landscapes created by nearly a million lights. Take a leisurely 15-minute cruise into an illuminated wonderland that brings Christmas dreams to life. Tickets are $29.99 per vehicle with a maximum amount of 7 people per vehicle.
December Market Update
Now let us dive into our monthly market report.
In Metro Vancouver, housing demand continues to outpace historical averages, with November sales eclipsing 3,000 for the first time since 2015.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totaled 3,064 in November 2020, a 22.7 per cent increase from the 2,498 sales recorded in November 2019, and a 16.9 per cent decrease from the 3,687 homes sold in October 2020.
Last month’s sales were 24.6 per cent above the 10-year November sales average and were the second-highest total in this period.
“Homebuyer 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.” Colette Gerber, REBGV Chair
There were 4,068 detached, attached, and apartment homes newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in November 2020. This represents a 36.2 per cent increase compared to the 2,987 homes listed in November 2019 and a 27 per cent decrease compared to October 2020 when 5,571 homes were listed.
The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 11,118, a 3.2 per cent increase compared to November 2019 (10,770) and a 10.5 per cent decrease compared to October 2020 (12,416).
“The supply of homes for sale is a critical factor in understanding home price trends,” Gerber said. “The total number of homes for sale in Metro Vancouver is lagging behind the pace of demand right now. This trend favours home sellers in today’s market.”
For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for November 2020 is 27.6 per cent.
By property type, the ratio is 27.9 per cent for detached homes, 40.1 per cent for townhomes, and 23.9 per cent for apartments.
Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period. In comparison, home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.
Within the region, the Sunshine Coast saw the largest increase in year-over-year demand with 106 home sales in November 2020, an 82.8 per cent increase over November 2019 (58).
“While demand remained elevated across the region, home buyer activity was particularly focused in more remote areas like the Sunshine Coast, Gulf Islands, and Squamish,” Gerber said. “The rise of work-from-home arrangements and physical distancing policies is causing some home buyers to opt for less densified areas.”
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,044,000. This represents a 5.8 per cent increase over November 2019 and a 0.1 per cent decrease compared to October 2020.
Sales of detached homes in November 2020 reached 1,061, a 28.6 per cent increase from the 825 detached sales recorded in November 2019. The benchmark price for a detached house is $1,538,900. This represents a 9.4 per cent increase from November 2019 and a one per cent increase compared to October 2020.
Sales of apartment homes reached 1,371 in November 2020, a 12.2 per cent increase compared to the 1,222 sales in November 2019. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $676,500. This represents a 3.4 per cent increase from November 2019 and a one per cent decrease compared to October 2020.
Attached home sales in November 2020 totaled 632, a 40.1 per cent increase compared to the 451 sales in November 2019. The benchmark price of an attached home is $814,800. This represents a 5.6 per cent increase from November 2019 and a 0.2 per cent increase compared to October 2020.