VANCOUVER — Home sales in Metro Vancouver hit an all-time high last year spurred by changing housing needs during the pandemic, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says.
The board says sales in 2021 rose 42.2 per cent to 43,999 compared with 30,944 the year before.
The previous record was set in 2015 with 42,326 home sales.
Keith Stewart, the board's economist, says in a news release that Metro Vancouver residents have been assessing their housing needs and options in record numbers in the last few years.
"Home has been a focus for residents throughout the pandemic."
The record year came as home sales in the region in December totalled 2,688, down from 3,093 sales in December 2020, while 3,428 homes sold in November 2021.
"While steady, home listing activity didn't keep pace with the record demand we saw throughout 2021. This imbalance caused residential home prices to rise over the past 12 months,” Stewart says.
The benchmark price for all residential properties in the board's coverage area increased 17.3 per cent from the prior year to $1.23 million.
The total number of homes listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service to start 2022 is 5,236, the lowest level seen in almost 30 years, Stewart says.
“With demand at record levels, residents shouldn’t expect home price growth to relent until there’s a more adequate supply of housing available to purchase.”
Sales of detached homes in December 2021 totalled 794, down from 1,026 sales in December 2020.
Attached home sales fell to 430 last month compared with 593 a year earlier and apartment home sales dipped to 1,464 in December, from 1,474 a year earlier.
Areas covered by the board include Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, the Sunshine Coast, West Vancouver and Whistler.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 5, 2022.
The Canadian Press