BRITISH COLUMBIA – The realtor members of the BC Northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB) reported 5083 property sales worth $1.6 billion in 2020 through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), up from last year’s 4748 sales worth $1.5 billion.
“MLS home sales in 2020 made an exceptional recovery from the pandemic-induced pullback during the first half of the year”, said President Shawna Kinsley. The surge in sales in the second half of 2020 was aided by pent-up demand from spring sales that were put on hold, record-low mortgage rates, and historically high savings rates that likely fast-tracked down payments.
As a result, MLS home sales in the region covered by the BC Northern Real Estate Board grew by 4.2 per cent year-over-year to a total of 4,278 units. In contrast, active listings fell by 30.5 per cent year-over-year to 1,104 units, the lowest level recorded since 1993, as potential sellers continued to put off listing their properties. The mismatch between demand and supply placed upward pressure on MLS average prices, finishing the year 7.1 per cent higher year-over-year, reaching a record high of $332,893.
Looking to 2021, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) expects continued momentum going into the new year with the help of record-low mortgage rates and demand for larger homes. Sales will be bounded by the low level of supply in the market, which will place considerable pressure on prices until active listings pick-up. We expect 2021 MLS home sales will build on momentum gained in 2020 and rise 12 per cent to 4,800 units. The MLS average home price for the BC Northern board area is forecast to rise 5 per cent to $350,000.