Real (Estate) Talk with Ryan Berlin - December 2020
The rennie review is produced each month by rennie intelligence, which includes the latest real estate data for Vancouver Region's housing market.

The fall market sure feels like spring 
On the heels of almost-record-setting and actual-record-setting sales counts in the Vancouver Region in each of August, September, and October, November’s showing was comparatively modest. That said, the 5,127 sales tallied across the region last month were the most for a November since 2015, and the third-highest for any November ever. Additionally, November marked the fifth consecutive month of at least 5,000 sales, the first time we have seen this since early 2016.

All of this puts our recent monthly sales counts in the company of typical springtime sales counts (which have averaged between 4,800 and 5,200 monthly between March and May over the past decade). And compared to their respective past-decade averages, sales in 2020 were up 61% in September, 52% in October, and 43% in November.

South of the Fraser markets are more active than those North of the Fraser. The 2,048 sales in the Fraser Valley board area in November were 56% higher than one year ago, and 76% above the past-decade November average. This compares to the Greater Vancouver board area, where November sales were up only 23% compared to last year and 28% versus the long-run average. For the period spanning January through November 2020, Fraser Valley board area sales were up 25% versus the same period in 2019, compared to 19% higher in the Greater Vancouver board area.

We have previously noted the impact that covid has had, at the margin, on the spatial distribution of sales in the Vancouver Region--with suburban markets accounting for an elevated share of regional shares versus their more urban counterparts--and it seems clear that this trend is persisting. 

More housing tailwinds than headwinds in 2021. Despite the ubiquitous tumult of 2020, global housing markets--including ours--have been resilient. As we look ahead to 2021, there are a number of reasons to think that the markets for all things, including housing, will have a bumper year. Reasons for optimism include the widespread deployment of a covid vaccine and the corresponding potential for a return to full employment, upwardly-revised Canadian immigration targets that will support housing demand, continued historically-low interest rates, a more generous national first-time home buyer programme, and remaining regional pent-up housing demand from earlier in 2020 (to the tune of approximately 6,000 homes). 

While all of this must be balanced against the risks of unprecedented growth in public debt and uncertainty around the resolution of covid, here’s to looking forward to a year filled with prosperity and good health for all.

Our rennie intelligence team comprises our in-house demographer, senior economist, and market analysts. Together, they empower individuals, organizations, and institutions with data-driven market insight and analysis. Experts in urban land economics, community planning, shifting demographics, and real estate trends, their strategic research supports a comprehensive advisory service offering and forms the basis of frequent reports and public presentations. Their thoughtful and objective approach truly embodies the core values of rennie.

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