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Greater Vancouver home sales running far ahead of the same time last year, early data shows

Sales, prices outpace last year's tallies at mid-month: REBGV
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January home sales are heating up in Metro Vancouver.

The Greater Vancouver housing market has continued its blistering sales pace, with total transactions running 67% ahead of year ago as of Jan. 15.

The market “is about to hit the next gear,” said Kevin Skipworth, partner and managing broker of Dexter Associates Realty, Vancouver, which released the early data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) on Jan. 19.

As of mid-January, 977 homes have sold, compared with 583 sold at the same time in January 2020 and 396 sold at mid-month in January 2019.

The sales-to-listing ratio jumped to 45% as of Jan. 15, compared with 19% at the same time a year ago, the data shows.

This is an indication of a seller’s market and rising prices, according to the REBGV.

Generally, downward pressure on home prices occurs when the sales-to-listing ratio dips below 12% for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it consistently surpasses 20%, according to the REBGV.

Despite the pandemic, 2020 housing sales increased 22.1% compared with 2019, according to the REBGV, and the year ended with December sales soaring 53.4% above the same month a year earlier, with the benchmark composite price rising 5.4% to $1,047,400.

As of Jan. 15, this benchmark price had increased to $1,110,021, according to Dexter Associates.

Total new listings so far in January are 2,185 compared with 1,924 at this point in January 2020 and 1,940 in mid- January 2019. Total active listings are at 8,593 compared with 8,870 at this time last year and at 10,183 at the same date in 2019.

“While we are seeing more new listings coming on to the market this year, it just is not enough to satisfy the demand,” Skipworth said. “This is going to put pressure on prices to rise and continue the pattern of multiple offers.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated the sales-to-listing ratio is an indication of a buyer's market. That was incorrect. It is an indication of a seller's market. We apologize for the error.