Home buyer and seller activity reached unprecedented levels across Metro Vancouver in March.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 5,708 in March 2021, an increase of 126.1% from the 2,524 sales recorded in March 2020, and an increase of 53.2% from the 3,727 homes sold in February 2021.
Last month's sales were 72.2% above the 10-year March sales average and is the highest monthly sales total ever recorded in the region.
"In March, residents bought and listed homes across our region at levels not seen before," Taylor Biggar, REBGV Chair said. "This surge in activity is increasing upward pressure on prices. We're beginning to see double-digit price gains for single-family homes and townhomes over the last 12 months."
Demand was most pronounced in rural and suburban areas. Delta – South saw a 195.8% increase in sales over 2020 – the largest increase in Metro Vancouver. This was followed by Whistler, which experienced a 194.7% increase, and Squamish, which saw a 188.6% increase in sales.
There were 8,287 detached, attached, and apartment homes newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in March 2021. This represents an 86.8% increase compared to the 4,436 homes listed in March 2020 and a 64.2% increase compared to February 2021 when 5,048 homes were listed.
The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,145, a 4.8% decrease compared to March 2020 (9,606) and a 9.4% increase compared to February 2021 (8,358).
This is 18.6% below the 10-year March total listings average.
"While we did see a record number of listings enter the market last month, the demand in today's market isn't allowing that new supply to accumulate. As a result, the overall inventory of homes for sale decreased compared to last year," said Biggar.
For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for March 2021 is 62.4%. By property type, the ratio is 52.9% for detached homes, 79.9% for townhomes, and 65.4% for apartments.
Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12% for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20% over several months.
"Today's activity can be attributed, in part, to an economy that’s showing signs of recovery, historically low interest rates, high demand for space, and increased household savings," Biggar said.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is $1,123,300. This represents a 9.4% increase over March 2020 and a 3.6% increase compared to February 2021.
Sales of detached homes in March 2021 reached 1,965, up 130.6% from the 852 detached sales recorded in March 2020. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,700,200. This represents a 17.9% increase from March 2020 and a 4.9% increase compared to February 2021.
Sales of apartment homes reached 2,697 in March 2021, up 128.8% compared to the 1,179 sales in March 2020. The benchmark price of an apartment is $715,800. This represents a 3.7% increase from March 2020 and a 2.6% increase compared to February 2021.
Attached home sales in March 2021 totalled 1,046, a 112.2% increase compared to the 493 sales in March 2020. The benchmark price of an attached home is $872,200. This represents a 10.4% increase from March 2020 and a 3.9% increase compared to February 2021.