Real (Estate) Talk with Ryan Berlin - December 2019
Housing demand remains strong heading into 2019's final month

With the November data now in for the Vancouver region, it’s clear that our real estate market has re-established its footing and is poised to continue along its new trajectory. The high-level data tells a consistent story, with sales across the the Vancouver region in November up 48% versus November 2018, total inventory down 19% over the same period, and benchmark prices recovering towards last year’s levels.

What’s really interesting beyond these headline statistics--and maybe even a little surprising--is the breadth of the demand resurgence across the Vancouver region. Indeed, the data unimpeachably show that it has materialized across virtually all of the region’s geographic sub-markets, as well as across all home types, bedroom counts, and price points.

The 48% year-over-year increase in sales in November reflected a 36% increase in sales in the Fraser Valley board area and a 55% increase in the Greater Vancouver board area. This latter figure was the Greater Vancouver board area’s largest such change since December 2013, a period spanning 71 months.

Drilling down even further geographically, November sales were up in every corner
of the market, ranging from 18% higher in Langley to 40% higher in Surrey, 73% higher in East Van, and 113% higher in West Vancouver. In fact, every sub-market covered in the rennie review experienced positive year-over-year sales growth.

The growth in overall home sales has not been driven by just one type
of home, as detached homes, townhomes, and condos have each registered similar year-over-year increases. In November, for example, condo sales were up 45%, detached home sales were up 48%, and townhome sales were 51% higher. This reflects the broad-based nature of current housing demand from down-sizers and first-time home buyers to up-sizing families and those simply looking to relocate within the region.

As with home types, the demand for different bedroom counts has been strong across the board, with the year-over-year increase in sales of homes with 3 bedrooms (+55%) slightly outpacing that of 4-plus bedrooms (+53%), while 1 beds (+44%) and 2 beds (+40%) were not far behind. Again, this reflects the latest evolution in housing demand on the part of everyone from those living alone to families big and small.

In terms of value, the biggest increase in sales compared to last year has been for homes between $1-2M (+64%), followed by those priced between $500K-1M (+57%). Those under $500K saw sales increase by 28%, while--perhaps most surprisingly--sales of homes valued at $2M-plus rose 18%. Clearly, confidence is returning to the market.

At a regional level, all of this has translated into conditions that, for the second month in a row, favour sellers overall. While balanced market segments, and even those with conditions favouring buyers, can be found if one digs deep enough into the data, it seems clear that both now and in the medium-term we should expect more of what we’ve been observing during the latter half of 2019: robust demand and relatively constrained supply.

The rennie review is produced each month by rennie intelligence, which includes the latest real estate data for Vancouver and the Lower Mainland's housing market.

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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