As borders remain closed and travel is at a standstill, most of us continue to feel the effects of the novel Coronavirus. Here in B.C., however, the real estate market has remained resilient due to a number of factors including a high quality of life, rise in remote work culture and the adoption of technology by buyers and realtors alike. As restrictions begin to loosen in the future, coupled with a federal government commitment to significantly grow the population in the coming years, demand is set to keep rising.
“A theme we've talked about in the past before is the value of B.C., and the Lower Mainland in general. The reality is we are a global community, and our response to [Covid-19] I think has furthered the message that this is a safe and wonderful place to be. There’s access to fresh air, to parks and mountains.” said Suzana Goncalves, EVP of sales and marketing at MLA Canada.
“While we have a strong, thriving economy with broad base industry, housing of course is the backbone to our GDP. [The Metro Vancouver area] is simply incredible — there's diversity, beauty and access and opportunity. All of these things we residents perhaps take for granted, but they remain intact and acknowledged on the international stage. And as long as that stays the same people will want to live here, which in itself is going to ensure prices are won’t stop escalating because we don't have the supply.”
Illustrating Goncalves’ point are the results from in the resale market summary found in MLA Canada’s Intel 2020 report released in late January. Bolstered by record-low interest rates, the 50,870 sales across Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley were the highest seen since 2017. The total dollar volume of property transactions of the latter reached $15.5 billion, the largest annual sum to date, despite a significant drop in immigration over the last 12-plus months.
That said, at the end of 2023 more than 1.2 million permanent residents are projected to be welcomed into the country. In the Lower Mainland specifically, there will likely be half a million additional people within a decade, requiring an equal number of new residences in housing stock.
MLA partner and president Ryan Lalonde says he is excited for what future holds.
“[Even] with immigration being a fraction of what it was a year ago, we are still experiencing double digit price sales-to-listings ratios and double digit price escalations in single family. Just imagine what the world looks like the moment that everyone feels comfortable again exploring new opportunities, and when investors return to Vancouver. Those residents as they look to move their families — Vancouver's the obvious choice. I’m very very excited about values in 2021 and 2022,” said Lalonde.