By Ryan Wyse, Manager, Analytics | March 11, 2021

The Vancouver new home market picked up the pace in the second half of 2020 following the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions, and saw improved performances in the third and fourth quarters. In spite of the many challenges the market faced last year, overall activity was up compared to a slow 2019, buoyed by low interest rates and underlying local demand.

According to Altus Group’s latest Vancouver Condominium Apartment Monitor, total new home sales in the Vancouver market area were up in Q4 2020, compared to both the previous quarter and to the same period last year. Total new home sales for 2020 were up 37% from a year earlier, though still 25% below the 10-year average.

Vancouver market area total annual new home sales 2007 - 2020

Sales of new condominium apartments in the Vancouver market area continued to improve in the fourth quarter and finished the year on a positive note. Sales for 2020 as a whole finished 8% higher than the previous year; however, they remain low in historical terms. New condominium apartment sales in Q4 2020 were up 76% from a year earlier as the amount of new supply increased in the fourth quarter.

Single-family sales were once again strong in the fourth quarter, with sales more than double the total from Q4 2019 and finishing the year with the highest sales volumes since 2016. The trend seen in Vancouver towards strength in suburban regions relative to the urban core is similar to the patterns seen elsewhere in Canada, with both Calgary and the Greater Toronto Area experiencing more demand outside of the downtown regions.

While there are still plenty of headwinds moving forward, including elevated COVID-19 case counts, government restrictions, rising rental vacancies, falling rents and competition from the resale market, new openings improved in the fourth quarter and generated more activity in the market which may provide some momentum for this year.

 

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