Vancouver Housing Market Report

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Market Report Summary
Updated November 5th, 2021
  • A fall in new listings and an increase in sales is pushing up home prices in Vancouver
  • The benchmark Vancouver home price for October 2021 was $1,199,400, a 15% increase year-over-year
  • Detached home prices increased by 21% year-over-year to $1.85M
  • Townhouse prices increased by 20% year-over-year to $975k
  • Condo apartment prices increased by 9% year-over-year to $746k

Vancouver Housing Market Overview

Data for October 2021
Benchmark Price:$1,199,400
All Property Types:$1,199,400
Detached:$1,850,500
Townhouse:$975,000
Condo Apartment:$746,400
Transactions (Buy/Sell):3,494
All Property Types:3,494
Detached:1,090
Townhouse:603
Condo Apartment:1,801

A dwindling supply of homes for sale in Vancouver’s housing market has served to push up prices as inventory declines in October 2021. There were only 4,049 new listings for October 2021, which is almost a 22% decrease from the 5,171 new home listings in September 2021. Meanwhile, sales are up 11% from 3,149 sales in September 2021 to 3,494 home sales in October 2021. This clash between inventory and sales has brought the sales to active listings ratio from 34% in September to over 43% for October. This creates further upward pressure on Vancouver home prices.

The benchmark home price in Vancouver was $1,199,400 for October 2021, up 15% year-over-year from October 2020. This is also a 1% increase in average home prices compared to last month. All home types continued to see a slight increase in prices and sales volume compared to last month. Benchmark prices of detached homes have increased the most in the past year with a 21.4% year-over-year gain and have inched upwards the past month to $1,850,500. Townhouses have also surged 20% over the past year to $975,000. Condo apartment benchmark prices lagged behind with a 9% increase year-over-year to $746,400. These price trends, where condo prices are lagging behind detached home prices, are similar to those in Toronto's housing market where condo prices have risen by only 13% in a year compared to 28% for detached homes.

One tailwind for Vancouver's housing market is the recent update of the CMHC's First-Time Home Buyer Incentive. Home buyers in Vancouver, Victoria, and Toronto can now qualify for a 5% or 10% down payment incentive paid by the Federal government with a household income of up to $150,000 (previously $120,000) and a total borrowed amount of up to 4.5x (previously 4x) their household income. This can potentially create increased direct demand for homes up to $722K in the Vancouver area.

In addition, the CMHC has recently decreased their standards for insured mortgages. This reverses the increase from last year and drops required credit scores from 680 to 600 and increases GDS and TDS ratio limits to 39% and 44% from 35% and 42%, respectively.

However, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) and the Ministry of Finance have recently raised the benchmark mortgage stress test rate for both insured and uninsured borrowers from 4.79% to 5.25%, limiting affordability for marginal buyers.

Mortgage rates have risen from their 2020 lows but have remained stable for the past few months. However, the prospect of tighter monetary policy from the Bank of Canada as early as mid-2022 could lead to increased rates and limit home affordability in Vancouver.

Home Prices in Vancouver

Single-Family Detached Home Prices in Vancouver

Statistics for October 2021
Benchmark Price: $1,850,50021.4% from Oct. 2020
Units Sold: 1,090-18.4% from Oct. 2020

Townhouse Prices in Vancouver

Statistics for October 2021
Benchmark Price: $975,00019.9% from Oct. 2020
Units Sold: 603-22.9% from Oct. 2020

Condo Prices in Vancouver

Statistics for October 2021
Benchmark Price: $746,4009.2% from Oct. 2020
Units Sold: 1,80114.7% from Oct. 2020

Vancouver Housing Market Statistics for All Property Types in Metro Vancouver

$1,199,400
Benchmark Price
1%
Monthly change
2%
Quarterly change
15%
Annual change
3,494
Transactions (Buy/Sell)
11%
Monthly change
5%
Quarterly change
-5%
Annual change

MLS HPI Benchmark Price

Total Transactions

Property Type Distribution

Detached
Townhouses
Condo Apartments

Housing Markets Across Canada

Interactive Map - Hover Over Province for Details
ONQCMBSKABBCYTNTToronto$1,136,280Vancouver$1,186,100Hamilton$796,611Montreal$546,940Ottawa$639,631Edmonton$377,554Calgary$476,041Winnipeg$339,974
$260k to $320k
$320k to $330k
$330k to $390k
$390k to $440k
$440k to $530k
$530k to $910k

Market Overview for Detached Homes in Metro Vancouver

$1,850,500
Benchmark Price
1%
Monthly change
3%
Quarterly change
21%
Annual change
1,090
Transactions (Buy/Sell)
15%
Monthly change
4%
Quarterly change
-18%
Annual change

Benchmark Price

Transactions

Market Overview for Townhouses in Metro Vancouver

$975,000
Benchmark Price
1%
Monthly change
3%
Quarterly change
20%
Annual change
603
Transactions (Buy/Sell)
4%
Monthly change
-1%
Quarterly change
-23%
Annual change

Benchmark Price

Transactions

Market Overview for Condo Apartments in Metro Vancouver

$746,400
Benchmark Price
1%
Monthly change
1%
Quarterly change
9%
Annual change
1,801
Transactions (Buy/Sell)
11%
Monthly change
8%
Quarterly change
15%
Annual change

Benchmark Price

Transactions

Regulation of Strata Insurance

Condo owners in Vancouver and B.C. have recently faced significant increases in their their strata insurance rates. According to a 2019 report commissioned by the B.C. Financial Services Authority, strata insurance premiums in B.C. increased by on average 40% in 2019 alone. Owners in Metro Vancouver faced even greater increases with an average increase of 50%. These costs have placed a headwind to condo prices in Vancouver as condo fees adjust to the new costs.

In response to the financial hardships caused by strata insurance premiums and COVID-19, the B.C. Ministry of Finance recently announced an amendment that, along with a proposed bill, will:

  • End referral fees between insurers or insurance brokers and strata property managers or other third parties
  • Require strata corporations to inform owners about insurance coverage, policy changes, and allow use of the contingency reserve fund
  • Protect strata unit owners against large lawsuits where the owner was not at fault
  • Change the minimum required contributions made by strata unit owners and developers to a strata corporation's contingency reserve fund

These changes will help condo owners deal with the financial burden of strata insurance and open the industry to more transparency.

What is Strata Insurance?

Greater Vancouver Area Breakdown by Region for October 2021

City
Benchmark Price
#1Lower Mainland$1,183,600
#2Greater Vancouver$1,199,400
#3Bowen Island$1,449,700
#4Burnaby East$1,099,600
#5Burnaby North$1,122,900
#6Burnaby South$1,057,200
#7Coquitlam$1,122,700
#8Ladner$1,074,900
#9Maple Ridge$1,040,100
#10New Westminster$734,200
#11North Vancouver$1,245,600
#12Pitt Meadows$943,100
#13Port Coquitlam$949,700
#14Port Moody$1,070,000
#15Richmond$1,105,100
#16Squamish$1,081,600
#17Sunshine Coast$852,600
#18Tsawwassen$1,196,600
#19Vancouver East$1,216,600
#20Vancouver West$1,365,300
#21West Vancouver$2,576,600
#22Whistler$1,377,500
#23Fraser Valley Board$1,107,200
#24North Delta$1,191,000
#25North Surrey$966,100
#26Surrey$1,115,800
#27Cloverdale$1,178,200
#28South Surrey & White Rock$1,215,200
#29Langley$1,092,000
#30Abbotsford$858,700
#31Mission$964,600

Glossary and Definitions

MLS® HPI: The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) is an index by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) that tracks the prices of homes in a neighborhood. It allows Canadians to quickly compare home prices across Canada and between periods of time without having to account for specific features of a property. Unlike market prices, which can fluctuate from month to month based on seasonal dynamics, the HPI provides a stable view tracks trends across a longer period of time. The HPI is reviewed every year in May to adjust for changes in the real estate marketplace.

MLS® HPI Benchmark Price: The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price is the HPI translated into a real-world price number.

Strata Insurance: Strata insurance is insurance used by a strata like a condominium to covers damages to common areas and assets and liability to the strata. It can also include fixtures built or installed as part of the original construction of each unit, even though these may not be common structures. The insurance can cover:

  • Buildings and structures associated with the strata including common areas such as the roof, parking garages, driveways, gyms, pools, etc.
  • Liability for any property damage or bodily injury suffered on strata property
  • Any fixtures that are part of the "standard unit" or original construction of each unit

Strata insurance does not usually include personal items and appliances that are part of a condo unit. It also does not cover the damages made by individual unit owners, such as in the case of water damage caused by a unit owner. These are usually covered by personal condo insurance.

Property types

Detached home: A detached home is your standard single-family home. It is a residential building that stands alone and is separately titled or legally a single unit.

Semi-detached home: A semi-detached home is similar to a detached home, except it shares a wall with another home. This pair of homes must make up an independent building and each should be separately titled or legally two separate units. There can only be two homes in a semi-detached building.

Townhouses: A townhouse is the middle between a detached/semi-detached home and a condo apartment. Like detached and semi-detached homes, they are often single-family units that have their own land and may be attached to other units. However, like condo apartments, they typically have to pay co-ownership fees for maintenance and may share some common features with their neighbors.

Condo apartment: This category includes all apartments and condominiums. These are complexes of residential units with common areas such as hallways, parking lots, stairwells, etc. They can be low-rise, mid-rise, or high-rise buildings. Unlike townhouses, there are no parts of the lot (the land of the building) where access is reserved for only one owner or occupant. There can be privately owned units and spaces inside the building.

Plexes are multi-story buildings with two to four individual units, usually one on each floor. They are a mainstay in Montreal and other cities in Quebec. Each unit is usually individually accessible via an external entrance with higher floors connected by staircases.

Property Classes

Freeholds: A freehold is any property where the owner owns both the house and the land it is built on. Common freehold property types include: detached, semi-detached, some townhouses, and farmland.

Condominiums: A condominium or condo is any property where the owner owns the home (or unit) but shares ownership of the land and other improvements with a condominium corporation. Common condominium property types include condo apartments and some townhouses.

Housing Markets Across Canada

Data sourced from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Any analysis or commentary is the opinion of the analysts at WOWA.ca and should not be construed as investment advice. Please consult a licensed real estate professional before making a real estate investment decision. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA.