Vancouver Homes Sales in 2015 Break Records, Rise 28%: REBGV

Joannah Connolly
January 5, 2016

2015 was a record-breaking year for Greater Vancouver real estate, with sales totalling the most ever recorded, according to Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) data released January 5.

Sales of residential properties across the year rose 27.8 per cent when compared with the total sales recorded in 2014.

However, the number of homes listed for sale in Greater Vancouver last year increased by just 2.1 per cent year over year. With sales-to-listings ratios of more than 25 per cent for 11 out of 12 months in 2015, it was a strong sellers’ market for much of the year, said the board.

“Home buyers were active and motivated throughout 2015 despite the pressure on supply of homes on the market," said Darcy McLeod, REBGV president. "Housing markets typically experience quieter periods within a calendar year, but that wasn't the case in Metro Vancouver last year.”

The board also released sales and price index figures for the month of December 2015, which saw an increase in home sales of 33.6 per cent compared with December 2014, and a benchmark price rise of 18.9 per cent year over year to $760,900.

New listings in Greater Vancouver in December rose seven per cent compared with the new listings in December 2014.

 

Sales and Listings

Greater Vancouver home sales across the year totalled 42,326, a 27.8 per cent increase from the 33,116 sales recorded in 2014.

In December 2015, Greater Vancouver home sales rose 33.6 per cent year over year to 2,827 units, compared with the 2,116 sales recorded in December 2014. This is an anticipated seasonal decline of 19.8 per cent decrease compared with the 3,524 sales in November 2015.

Broken down by housing type, detached home sales increased 36.4 per cent year over year. Unlike the previous few months, this increase was the fastest growth rate of the three property types. There were 1.136 single-family home sales in December, compared with the 833 sales in December 2014. This was a decline of 14.9 per cent month over month.

Townhomes and other attached properties saw a slightly slowing rate of annual sales growth in December. The 466 units sold represented a 25.6 per cent increase over the 371 units in December 2014, and a 26.7 per cent drop from November.

Sales of condominium-apartments totalled 1,225 in December, an increase of 34.3 per cent compared with December 2014 and once more the property type with the highest total sales. However this was a seasonal drop of 21.1 per cent compared with the previous month.

What's Up, What's Down - At a Glance
  Dec/Nov 2015 Dec 2015/Dec 2014
Overall Sales -19.8% +33.6%
- Detached -14.9% +36.4%
- Attached -26.7% +25.6%
- Apartment -21.1% +34.3%
New Listings -40.4% +7.0%
Current Listings -25.6% -41.6%

 

The shortage of property listings unsurprisingly continued in December. The total number of properties listed for sale as of December 2015 in Greater Vancouver stands at 6,024, a 41.6 per cent decline compared with December 2014 and a 25.6 per cent decrease over the previous month.

The total number of Greater Vancouver homes listed for sale last year increased by just 2.1 per cent year over year to 57,249, compared withthe 56,066 properties listed in 2014.

December was the 10th consecutive month that the sales-to-active-listings ratio has been above 30 per cent in Metro Vancouver, meaning that the strong sellers’ market conditions continue to strengthen further.

Benchmark Prices

Metro Vancouver’s combined residential property type benchmark price yet again set a new record in December, now at $760,900. This is an 18.9 per cent increase compared with December 2014 and a 1.1 per cent rise over the price recorded in November 2015.

The price of a Metro Vancouver single-family home increased 24.3 per cent over December 2014 to $1,248,600. This was once again the fastest annual price growth of all the home types.

The benchmark price of a townhome or other attached unit increased 13.6 per cent between December 2014 and 2015 to $543,700.

Continuing the price surge seen in October and November, condo-apartment benchmark prices rose 14 per cent year over year again, to $436,200, reflecting the increase in demand from buyers pushed out of the detached home and townhouse market, and the dramatically rising cost of land for new condominium development.

 
Greater Vancouver MLS® Benchmark Prices % Change
  Dec 2015 Nov 2015 Dec 2014
Detached $1,248,600 +x% +24.3%
Townhome $543,700 +x% +13.6%
Apartment $436,200 +x% +14.0%
 

Home prices vary widely throughout the REBGV region. To get a good idea of home prices in a specific location, check the detailed MLS® Home Price Index in the REBGV full statistics package.

To see the monthly infographic with prices broken down by area, city and property type, click here.

Joannah Connolly
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.