Coast real estate heads north, ‘destroys’ record for $1M homes

Demand remains high for housing throughout Metro Vancouver but it’s highest on the Sunshine Coast – at least it was last month.

November sales were 82.8 per cent higher than in 2019, putting the Sunshine Coast at the top of the list of Metro Vancouver communities for largest year-over-year demand increase.

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“While demand remained elevated across the region, home buyer activity was particularly focused in more remote areas like the Sunshine Coast, Gulf Islands, and Squamish,” said Real Estate Board chair Colette Gerber. “The rise of work-from-home arrangements and physical distancing policies is causing some home buyers to opt for less densified areas.”

Included in the board’s coverage are Lower Mainland communities as well as Whistler.

Gerber also said supply of houses for sale is “a critical factor in understanding home price trends,” and that supply in Metro Vancouver “is lagging behind the pace of demand right now."

Adam Major of Hollywell Properties told Coast Reporter this was the busiest November on the Sunshine Coast in 15 years with 107 sales, including 81 detached homes.

What made November especially unusual on the Coast, however, was the jump in prices. 

The median price for a detached house hit a record of $800,000. Last November the median was $657,000 and it was just under $400,000 five years ago. On top of that, 22 houses sold for more than $1 million last month.

Between June and November, 127 houses were sold for more than $1 million, smashing the 2017 record of 110 houses in a calendar year.

“We destroyed that record in the past six months,” said Major. “Homes on the Coast have never been more expensive.”

Demand for housing also applies to the rental market, with the vacancy rate close to zero, said Major, bucking the typical trend on the Sunshine Coast for increasing availability in the off-season winter months.

“Any homes that come vacant are renting quickly and the demand is putting upward pressure on rental prices,” he said.



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