the rennie review - January 2021

2020’s unexpected path leaves 2021 poised for growth After a year like no other–punctuated by a spring slump followed by a record number of sales through the end of 2020–the housing market in the Vancouver Region is positioned for a dynamic 2021.

Despite the within-year turbulence, our market also looked surprisingly “normal” in hindsight when considering the mix and spatial distribution of homes sold. For example, despite buyers leaning in to the detached home and townhome markets in 2020–raising the share of total sales that were in this “ground oriented” category to 62% from 58% in 2019–the share of non-condo sales this past year was virtually the same (62%) as the past-decade average (63%). Additionally, 38% of all MLS sales in the Vancouver region in 2020 were in South of the Fraser communities, which was not significantly different from the 34% average share over the past decade. With the recovery in employment having stalled (somewhat expectedly) in December, job growth is not likely to be the primary fuel for the region’s housing market in 2021. Other elements–including unpent demand from the first half of 2020, continued low interest rates, increased immigration, and elevated levels of household savings–have the market poised for what should be an active 2021.

7 months despite the ongoing pandemic, its associated social restrictions, and the negative impact this had on employment and immigration. When all was said and done, the region counted 49,859 sales in the full year 2020–25% more than in 2019 and 4% higher than the previous 10-year average. Put slightly differently, our market gave the appearance of being fairly average overall in 2020. Much of this hinged on a fall market that looked more like a typically-active spring market, with all-time highs–and near-all- time highs–in sales counts being achieved in each of September, October, November, and December. The year ended with an exclamation mark, with the 5,072 MLS sales across the Vancouver Region last month being the most in any December in the region’s history (by a whopping 16%).

A surfeit of hyperbole, accompanied by too many adjectives to count (most of them negative), have been used to describe the year that was 2020; as such, we’ll refrain from adding to the pile in this space. Instead, we’ll share a few observations from a housing market here in the Vancouver Region that unexpectedly twisted and turned as it progressed through the past 12 months, looked pretty “average” overall in hindsight, and is now primed for a dynamic 2021. In the immediate aftermath of the onset of the pandemic, MLS sales in the Vancouver Region plummeted by 54% between March and April–a time of year when sales counts are normally on the rise–which in turn yielded grim prospects for the regional housing market through the balance of 2020. Somewhat surprisingly, sales counts began to bounce back the following month, and remained robust through the subsequent

Copyright © 2020 rennie group of companies. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced or distributed, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the rennie group of companies. Current as of January 6, 2021. All data from Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley & Rennie. While the information and data contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. rennie group of companies does not assume responsibility or liability for any inaccuracies. The recipient of the information should take steps as the recipient may deem necessary to verify the information prior to placing any reliance upon the information. The information contained within this report should not be used as an opinion of value, such opinions should and can be obtained from a rennie and associates advisor. All information is subject to change and any property may be withdrawn from the market at any time without notice or obligation to the recipient from rennie group of companies. E.&O.E. 3

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