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."