vancouver-new-home-sales-2020 Photo: Suzanne Rushton / Unsplash

Vancouver’s new home market got a big boost through the second half of 2020, with the strong performance allowing total new home sales for the year to exceed 2019’s total by 37 percent.

According to the new full-year data published this month by Altus Group, low interest rates and strong local demand pushed 2020’s sales total well above the previous year’s.

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In a blog post, Altus Group’s Ryan Wyse pointed out that 2019 was a relatively slow year for new home sales in Vancouver and 2020’s total was still 25 percent lower than the 10-year average for sales.

There were 10,904 new home sales recorded in 2020 for the Vancouver market. This total, no doubt impacted by the pandemic, was higher than 2019’s tally by nearly 3,000 units. However, it pales in comparison to totals recorded in the period between 2014 and 2018, when annual sales ranged from 14,674 to 25,274 units. The 2020 sales total is more comparable to those seen in 2010 to 2013.

In the blog post, Wyse wrote that new single-family home sales delivered a strong performance during 2020’s fourth quarter and the market segment posted its best annual sales total since 2016. Meantime, condo sales ended 2020 up eight percent over 2019, but came in well below historical averages. An influx of condo project launches in the final months of 2020 meant fourth quarter sales were up 76 percent from the same period a year ago.

“While there are still plenty of headwinds moving forward, including elevated COVID-19 case counts, government restrictions, rising rental vacancies, falling rents and competition from the resale market, new openings improved in the fourth quarter and generated more activity in the market which may provide some momentum for this year,” Wyse wrote.

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