Quarterly Report
Thursday, May 20, 2021

Red Hot  | Improved Affordability

A combination of highly-positive factors (including very good affordability, strong employment, and desires to change our living arrangements) is resulting in very strong home buying activity within British Columbia. The actual sales total of 33,283 units sold for the quarter equates to 43,300 on a seasonally-adjusted basis. This is the third highest seasonally-adjusted total of the past two decades, surpassed only by 2005-Q3 and 2006-Q1. 

At the same time, the effects of long-term under-production of housing mean that there is not enough supply available. In addition, mortgage regulations have not just impeded sales – they have also been a major factor in the under-production of housing. This sharp imbalance between supply and demand is helping to result in extreme price growth.

COVID-19 is causing many to rethink their housing needs as they adjust their lifestyles to the current situation. As such, housing market activity (and price growth) is strongest in the move-to communities that are attracting people from Vancouver. It is anticipated that evolving working arrangements will remain a key factor in housing market trends.

If this is the first time reading our quarterly report, you’ll find that it compares average and median pricing for key residential property types (attached, detached, condo) on a regional level.

Our charts show that during 2021-Q1, residential sales were 49% higher than a year earlier with increases occurring in all of the regions. Of all the regions surveyed, only Greater Vancouver did not show more than 60% increase in sales. The largest increases were in Kootenay, Okanagan, and Fraser Valley.