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Metro Vancouver home sales up despite buyers looking outside region: real estate group

FILE - A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, June, 12, 2018. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says home sales started off strong in March but tapered as the Covid-19 outbreak intensified. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward

November home sales for Metro Vancouver saw a big bump compared to the same period last year, says real estate group

The price for a detached house in Metro Vancouver jumped up to a benchmark $1.5 million: REBGV

Working from home, physical distancing arrangements pushing some buyers to less densified areas, board says

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — November’s weather may have been chilly, but it didn’t put the freeze on Metro Vancouver home sales, according to the latest figures from a real estate group, even as the pandemic prompts people to look outside the region.

Last month, home sales were hot in Metro Vancouver — 24.6 per cent above the 10-year average for the month — with prices pushed up to a benchmark $1.5-million for a detached house, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). The price is up 10 per cent from last year.

“Home-buyer demand has been at near-record levels in our region (Metro Vancouver) since the summer,” Colette Gerber, REBGV chair said in a release. “This is putting upward pressure on home prices, particularly in our detached and townhome markets.”

While demand continues to be high across the region, the REBGV found home buyers seem particularly focused on more remote areas, such as the Sunshine Coast, Squamish, and the Gulf Islands. Last month’s home sales were up more than 80 per cent on the Sunshine Coast compared to the same time last year.

The board says the rise of work-from-home arrangements and physical distancing policies is pushing some people to look for homes in less densified areas.

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Gerber explains the supply of homes on the market is important for understanding the rise in pricing.

“The total number of homes for sale in Metro Vancouver is lagging behind the pace of demand right now. This trend favours home sellers in today’s market,” she adds.

Meanwhile, the low number of homes for sale and ongoing demand has RE/MAX predicting a four to five per cent price increase for Vancouver homes in 2021.