Vancouver home buyers and sellers can be excused for taking a centric view of the real estate market. After all, Vancouver has headlined housing news in Canada, even the world, for the past two decades.
It was here where Canadian home prices first topped an average of $1 million and it is where intense demand from global buyers led to the first foreign-homebuyer tax in North America.
And the city continues to amaze.
In the first quarter of 2021 5,366 homes sold in the City of Vancouver, up 51 per cent from the same time a year earlier. The sales include more than 1,500 detached houses worth an average of $2.5 million each. This is a world-leading performance for any similar-sized city on the planet, particularly during a global pandemic.
Yet, even with Vancouver’s world-class transactions, it is now being eclipsed by outlier markets. Metro Vancouver suburban markets, and beyond are increasingly, where the action is.
Faith Wilson Group has seen growing interest in our out-of-town listings, which range from the Metro suburbs and the Fraser Valley to Bute Inlet and the Okanagan.
The change is reflected in a comparison of house price increases.
In the first quarter of 2021, for instance, Bowen Island detached house prices increased 36 per cent from a year earlier; on the Sunshine Coast they shot up 34 per cent and were up more than 20 per cent in South Delta, Maple Ridge , Pitt Meadows and Port Moody. Mission has seen a 24 per cent price increase, highest in the Fraser Valley. House prices in the central Okanagan have soared 34 per cent.
In comparison, benchmark detached house prices in the City of Vancouver increased about 12 per cent year-over-year as of March.
Some see this as an indication of waning interest in Vancouver real estate, but, in reality, it is a just an extension of the strongest B.C. housing market ever seen. While we celebrate the current strength in smaller B.C. centres, we remain convinced that, when the pandemic is over and the city and international borders reopen, the City of Vancouver will regain its status among the most vibrant and in-demand housing markets in the world.
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