Both total residential resale transactions across B.C. and the province's average sale price jumped in January 2020, resulting in an annual rise in total dollar volume of 35 per cent, the B.C. Real Estate Association reported February 13.
The BCREA said that a total of 4,426 residential MLS sales were recorded across the province in January 2020, an increase of 23.7 per cent over January 2019.
The average home resale price was $725,370, which is a 9.1 per cent increase from $664,633 recorded the previous January.
“Housing markets in B.C. are off to a strong start in 2020,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA’s chief economist. “We expect a much more typical year of home sales in 2020 as markets recover from the policy-induced slowdown of the past two years.”
However, the results vary when broken down by region, said the BCREA.
The biggest year-over-year gains in sales activity were seen in Chilliwack (up 69.4 per cent), South Okanagan (up 44.9 per cent) and the province’s biggest market, Greater Vancouver (up 43 per cent). Of the larger markets, the areas not keeping pace with last year are B.C. Northern (down 10.3 per cent) and Vancouver Island (down 7.4 per cent).
“While many markets are showing strong signs of recovery, the struggling forestry sector is having a clear impact on housing demand, particularly in the North and parts of Vancouver Island,” added Ogmundson.
Price trends around the province differed from sales activity, with the Fraser Valley, Victoria and South Okanagan seeing the steepest annual jumps in average home sale prices, but B.C. Northern still up 6.4 per cent from last year. The only major market with prices lower than one year previously was Greater Vancouver (down 1.7 per cent).
Powell River also dropped significantly in both sales totals and average price, but at only 11 units sold in January, this tiny market often sees major percentage swings that don’t necessarily signify a trend.
Check out the BCREA’s full regional breakdown, below, and its January 2020 report here.