British Columbia

March home sales through the roof in Vancouver area amid rapidly rising prices

Rural and suburban areas like South Delta, Whistler and Squamish saw the greatest increases in sales activity in the region covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

The benchmark price for a detached home in the region is now over $1.7M

The Vancouver-area real estate market was blistering hot in March, according to numbers released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Sales of Vancouver-area homes continued at a record setting pace in March, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Residential home sales in the region covered by the board totalled 5,708 in March 2021, up 126.1 per cent from March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and up 53.2 per cent from February 2021. 

REBGV chair Taylor Biggar said sales across the region are at unprecedented levels.

"This surge in activity is increasing upward pressure on prices. We're beginning to see double-digit price gains for single-family homes and townhomes over the last 12 months," he said. 

Rural and suburban areas experienced the biggest spikes with South Delta leading the way with a 196 per cent increase in March year-over-year.

Whistler was next with 195 per cent growth, then Squamish with an increase of 188 per cent in sales. 

There were 8,287 detached, attached and apartment homes newly listed for sale in the area in March 2021, according to the REBGV, representing an 86.8 per cent increase compared to March 2020.

Still, demand continues to outstrip supply.

"While we did see a record number of listings enter the market last month, the demand in today's market isn't allowing that new supply to accumulate. As a result, the overall inventory of homes for sale decreased compared to last year," said Biggar. 

The benchmark price for a detached home in the region is $1,700,200 in March 2021, up almost 28 per cent year-over-year, and up almost five per cent from February 2021.

The benchmark price of an apartment is $715,800, an increase of 3.7 per cent from March 2020 and 2.6 per cent increase from the previous month.

The benchmark price of an attached home is $872,200, representing a 10.4 per cent increase from March 2020 and a 3.9 per cent rise over February 2021. 

The REBGV said a recovering economy, historically low interest rates, demand for more household space and increased personal savings are driving the market.

Communities covered by the REBGV include: Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, West Vancouver and Whistler.

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