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B.C. home sales break December record

A record month closes out an unprecedented year, characterized by a remarkable recovery
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B.C. December home sales were up nearly 58% compared with sales in December 2019.

A record month for home sales in December closed out a remarkable year for B.C. real estate.

The latest data from the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) shows that sales across the province last month were nearly 58% higher than sales in December 2019 – a record, according to the association.

The average home price in B.C. rose by 12.5%.

It was a strong end to a strong real estate recovery that has persisted despite the force of the pandemic's second wave.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sales for the year were 21.5% higher than the year before, and the average MLS home price rose nearly 12% year over year.

Total sales dollar volume for 2020 reached $73.5 billion, a more than 35% increase over 2019.

“Housing markets across the province staged a remarkable recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic and recession,” said BCREA chief economist Brendon Ogmundson in a news release. 

“We expect considerable momentum heading into 2021.”

December sales in 11 of 12 markets across the province rose by double digits – and by at least 29.8% (Chilliwack).

Year-over-year sales were up by more than 54% in Greater Vancouver and Victoria, were 73% higher in the Fraser Valley and up nearly 59% in Okanagan Mainline. The exception to the trend was the Northern Lights market, where residential sales were steady year over year.

The average MLS price in Greater Vancouver sits at nearly $1.08 million (+7.4%), at $898,000 in the Fraser Valley (+18.4%) and above $711,000 in Okanagan Mainline (+37.2%). Average prices rose everywhere except in the B.C. Northern region (-8.5%).

According to the BCREA, December active listings are near a record low, and down around 16% from December 2019. 

Until more listings make their way onto the market, the association noted that the dearth of supply will "likely translate to considerable pressure on prices."