We did it! We survived 2020. We should all be proud of ourselves for making it through what will go down as one of the most infamous years in history. That does not mean that 2021 will be without its challenges, but things are looking up. Interestingly enough, the Vancouver real estate market has not suffered much at all this past year.
Throughout most of 2020, prices and sales numbers were up across the board compared to 2019. In the last quarter, we saw a dip in condo prices compared to early 2020, which I believe is due to many people fleeing the city because of a change in priorities and circumstances. This is defined as a ‘grand exodus’ in most big cities in North America. With a great number of people now able to work from home, they can live wherever they choose. Naturally, they are moving to places that are more affordable, where they can get more space and enjoy a slower paced lifestyle (such as Vancouver Island and the Okanagan).
Inventory/supply is still quite low in Greater Vancouver, which has been putting upward pressure on prices for townhomes and detached homes in the second half of 2020. Typically, we see an influx of new listings in the first quarter of the year. If detached home and townhome inventory substantially increases in the Spring then this could balance out the marketplace, causing prices to remain stable or go down slightly.
Generally, Summer is the slowest buying season because so many people go on vacation, but that's not likely to happen this year. If Covid restrictions start lifting by the Spring, this could encourage buyers to get out to take advantage of the low interest rates, which could trigger a busy Summer market.
Are we in a bubble in Vancouver? Perhaps we are. This past year has proven that our real estate market in the lower mainland is undeniably strong and does not waiver easily. Will that bubble pop? Personally, I think that the economic impacts of the pandemic will affect our lifestyles moving forward. However, many people will still need to move this year, maybe more than ever before. I believe any negative economic impacts will be inconsequential compared to the amount of pent-up demand. Therefore, I predict that sales will remain steady for 2021.
However, real estate is very localized and every municipality and product type should be individually evaluated. I would be happy to provide you with advice on when might be the best time to buy or sell if you are thinking about making a move in 2021.
I wish you all a happy, healthy and safe new year!! Good riddance 2020.