B.C. housing shortage perhaps worst in Canada
December 30, 2021
There is a shortage of homes for sale across Canada, but the lack of supply and its ramifications are nowhere more apparent than in B.C.—the most expensive housing market in the country.
With a month remaining in 2021, B.C. housing sales hit an all-time annual high as the number of homes for sale crashed to a record low, according to the B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA).
And early December data shows the trend has continued.
The average residential price in B.C. as of November 30 was $993,922—a 22.1 per cent increase from $814,310 recorded in November 2020. Total sales dollar volume was $9.1 billion—a 17.9 per cent increase from the same time last year.
“Provincial home sales reached a new annual record in November with still one month to go in 2021,” said BCREA chief economist Brendon Ogmundson. “Home sales have already surpassed the previous annual record of 112,425 units set in 2016.”
Total active residential listings fell 39 per cent year-over-year to a record low for the province. Active listings are now about half of the level reached prior to the pandemic.
In Greater Vancouver, the average composite home price as of November 2021 had reached $1.24 million—up 14.6 per cent from a year earlier—while the average home price in the Fraser Valley surged 21.8 per cent to $1.10 million.
There appears to be no relief coming in December, according to mid-month data from the Real Estate Board of Vancouver.
As of December 15, new listings were at 1,482—down from 2,142 at the mid-point of November and down from 1,566 at mid-December 2020.
But this December, sales as of mid-month had reached 1,519 transactions, just slightly lower than at same point in November.
The sales-to-new-listing ratio, a key market metric, had hit 102 per cent as of December 15, real estate board data shows.
“This means that every listing that came on the market sold,” noted Kevin Skipworth, managing partner at Vancouver real estate agency Dexter Associates. Skipworth added that multiple offers are now common across Greater Vancouver.