Metro Vancouver Housing Update May 2021

Metro Vancouver’s housing market has observed some degree of slowdown in home sales in May 2021, after the record-breaking numbers last month.  Despite the drop in sales, the housing market can still be considered hot with consistent pacing in home sales, with buyers continuing to purchase or renovate homes this year. May 2021’s market report from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) shows a 187.4% increase in residential home sales compared to last year. 

There is however a 13% decrease in sales when compared to April 2021. Last month’s sales were 27.7% above the 10-year May sales average. Areas covered by the REBGV include Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Whistler. 

 “While home sale and listing activity remained above our long-term averages in May, conditions moved back from the record-setting pace experienced throughout Metro Vancouver in March and April of this year,” noted Keith Stewart, REBGV economist. “With a little less intensity in the market today than we saw earlier in the spring, home sellers need to ensure they’re working with their REALTOR® to price their homes based on current market conditions.” 

May’s Housing Market At A Glance

 There were 7,125 detached, attached, and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in May 2021. This represents a 93.4% increase compared to the 3,684 homes listed last year. “With sales easing down from record peaks, a revised mortgage stress test that reduces the maximum borrowing amounts by approximately 4.5%, and the average five-year fixed mortgage rates climbing back over 2% since the beginning of 2021, we’ll pay close attention to these factors leading into the summer to understand what effect they’ll have on the current market cycle,” Stewart said. The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 10,970, a 10.5% increase compared to last year’s numbers, and a 7.1% increase compared to last month.

May’s Sales-to-Active-Listings Ratio and Composite Benchmark Price

 For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for May 2021 is 38.9%. The breakdown is as follows:  Detached homes – 29.8%Townhomes –  53.8%Apartments – 43.5% Analysts generally expect home prices to dip when the ratio falls below 12% for a sustained period. Home prices often rise when the sales-to-active-listings ratio goes above 20% over several months. “The seller’s market conditions experienced throughout much of the pandemic highlight the need for increasing the volume and variety of housing supply across our region,” Stewart said. “Doing this requires a more disciplined focus on planning, reducing building costs, understanding demographic changes, and expediting the building approval process.” The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,172,800. This represents a 14% increase over May 2020 and a 1.5% increase compared to last month. 

Metro Vancouver Home Sales by Property Type

 Detached Homes Detached homes sales in May 2021 reached 1,430, a 166% increase from last year. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,800,600. This represents a 22.8% increase from last year and a 1.7% increase compared to last month. Attached Homes Attached home sales in May 2021 totaled 800, a 168% increase compared to the 298 sales in May 2020. The benchmark price of an attached home is $936,300. This represents a 16.3% increase from May 2020 and a 1.8% increase compared to April 2021. Apartment Homes Apartment home sales reached 2,049 in May 2021, a 213% increase compared to last year. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $737,100. This represents a 7.9% increase from last year and a 1.2% increase compared to April 2021. 

For more in-depth information contact:

David Matiru