Across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley the housing market continued its above-average sales records and the market remains hot. Although homes are now being listed at record levels the supply is still well below where the demand is. The Federal Government announced in the 2021 budget that there will be a 1 percent tax on the value of non-resident, non-Canadian residential properties. Any buyers out there hoping the government would step in to curtail the surging housing prices will not find any hope of that happening in this report. The full report, which you can read here does very little if anything to slow down the housing market, and in my opinion, the steps taken by the Federal Government are essentially more for show in order to say that they have taken steps to slow down the housing market.
Also, in my opinion, there is very little the government can or should do to slow down the housing market right now, other than make it easier for developers to get permits in order to start construction projects more quickly to help boost the supply. Other measures to try and slow down the housing market (such as canceling the capital gains exemption on primary residents, which looks unlikely to happen at this point) only serve to artificially slow down the housing market and create a backlog, that eventually overflows and causes the market to accelerate. I am not going to discuss immigration again and how it will affect the housing market as I have been over that several times in my previous weekly newsletters however, anyone who may have missed those discussions please feel free to reach out to me and I am happy to have a conversation with you in more detail. For now, let’s look at what is happening in and around Vancouver this month, and then I will dive into this month’s market report.
Too Long, Didn't Read:
- New search tool available here!
- Home sellers have become increasingly active this month, but demand still outstrips supply
- Residential home sales increased 342.6 percent this month
Before we get into the monthly stats for March though, let’s take a moment to see what is happening in and around Vancouver this month.
Vancouver Events This Month
DanceHouse presents the Vancouver premiere of Montreal choreographer Caroline Laurin-Beaucage’s multimedia work REBO(U)ND, projected nightly in English Bay, on an East-facing tower building at Denman and Davie St.
In a year of creative pivots, this latest innovation will see DanceHouse moving art outdoors and broadcasting the striking architectural video projection on a loop, commencing 30 minutes past sunset until 10:30 pm nightly. Launching in celebration of International Dance Day (April 29), the free outdoor public presentation offers passers-by an opportunity to engage with the larger-than-life artform in a manner suitable to the COVID-19 era.
Immagine Van Gogh has extended its time in Vancouver until August 29th, I went and saw this exhibit this month and I thoroughly enjoyed it. For those of you who are on the fence, I highly recommend this fully immersive experience.
Trout Lake Farmers Market- Summer will open for the season this Saturday on May 1st! The market will be operating as an essential service with full COVID protocols in place.
Supply response emerges in Metro Vancouver’s active housing market:
Home sellers have become increasingly active in Metro Vancouver’s housing market this spring in response to heightened demand and rising home values that have materialized during the pandemic.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 4,908 in April 2021, a 342.6 per cent increase from the 1,109 sales recorded in April 2020, and a 14 per cent decrease from the 5,708 homes sold in March 2021.
Last month’s sales were 56.2 per cent above the 10-year April sales average and is the highest total on record for the month. Our housing market has changed considerably from one year ago when COVID-19 concerns brought activity to a near standstill. This was followed by a well-documented spike in home buyer demand across the region. So far this spring, we’ve seen a corresponding supply response from home sellers.
There were 7,938 detached, attached and apartment homes newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in April 2021. This represents a 243.2 per cent increase compared to the 2,313 homes listed in April 2020, a 4.2 per cent decrease compared to March 2021 when 8,287 homes were listed and is the highest new listing total ever recorded in the region in April. While homes are now being listed at record levels, more supply is needed to meet today’s demand and help market conditions achieve greater balance
The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 10,245, a 9.1 per cent increase compared to April 2020 (9,389) and a 12 per cent increase compared to March 2021 (9,145). Today’s active listings total is 11.2 per cent below the 10-year April average.
For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for April 2021 is 47.9 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 37.4 per cent for detached homes, 70 per cent for townhomes, and 51.5 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, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.
Record low-interest rates, increased household savings, a strengthening economy and a continued focus on living space during the pandemic are all factors that are helping to bolster demand while steady price growth is encouraging more sellers to list their homes.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,152,600. This represents a 12 per cent increase over April 2020 and a 2.6 per cent increase compared to March 2021.
With our market at record activity in recent months, and with the continued safety risk that COVID-19 poses, REALTORS® remain focused on helping their clients make sound and responsible buying and selling decisions today while continuing to strictly follow the pandemic safety protocols established for real estate in our province.
Sales of detached homes in April 2021 reached 1,655, a 326.5 per cent increase from the 388 detached sales recorded in April 2020. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,755,500. This represents a 20.9 per cent increase from last year and a 3.2 per cent increase compared to March 2021.
Sales of apartment homes reached 2,289 in April 2021, a 355.1 per cent increase compared to the 503 sales in April 2020. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $729,600. This represents a 5.9 per cent increase from April 2020 and a 1.9 per cent increase compared to March 2021.
Attached home sales in April 2021 totalled 964, a 342.2 per cent increase compared to the 218 sales in April 2020. The benchmark price of an attached home is $900,900. This represents a 13.9 per cent increase from April 2020 and a 3.3 per cent increase compared to March 2021.
April saw a surge in homes being listed but as you can see from the data it was not enough to curtail the rising housing prices, or meet the demand. We will continue to see these increases in property value until demand begins to slow down, or the housing supply manages to catch up. It has been a busy month and it is hard to predict what will happen in the summer months when the housing market typically slows down. If you have any questions regarding this months market report please feel free to email or call me, as always I am always happy to chat real estate. As well, I have a new map search tool on my website (which you can see here) that is very robust and will help you to more easily find homes on the market.