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Vancouver home sales stun skeptics

November 12, 2020

October Metro Vancouver total housing sales soared 29 per cent from October 2019—the second-highest October sales level in history—and prices jumped 6 per cent year-over-year to defy consistent predictions of a pandemic-induced collapse.
On October 29, the Royal Bank, the biggest mortgage lender in Canada, warned that a decline in immigration would “upend” Vancouver’s housing market.
“COVID-19 has severely disrupted the flow of immigrants moving to Canada—a major source of [Metro Vancouver] housing demand,” senior RBC economist Robert Hogue stated in his report.
A month earlier, Moody’s Analytics forecast a sharp downturn in Vancouver-area housing sales in the third quarter, highlighting average home prices would plunge by 7 per cent before a tepid recovery in 2021.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) has been predicting a downturn in the Metro Vancouver housing market since May. CMHC’s summer outlook doubled down, predicting “[Metro Vancouver] resale market sales will contract and remain low for the balance of 2020 and begin to recover in 2021.”
Yet the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales hit 3,687 in October 2020—a 29 per cent increase from October 2019 and a 1.2 per cent increase from September 2020. October sales were 34.7 per cent above the 10-year October average and the second highest on record for the month.
“With demand on the rise, homes priced right for today’s market are, at times, garnering multiple offers," noted REBGV president Collette Gerber.
Sales of detached homes in October soared 42.3 per cent compared to October 2019, to lead all housing sectors. The benchmark price for a detached house is now $1.52 million, up 8.5 per cent from October 2019.
The BC Real Estate Association, in an outlook released November 4, forecast that Greater Vancouver detached houses would hit a record high price of $1.7 million in 2021.

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