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DECEMBER 2021 Market Update

NANAIMO, BC – The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) recorded 11,045 unit sales (all property types) in 2021, close to the 12,014 and 11,341 unit sales seen in 2016 and 2017. It is a remarkable outcome notwithstanding since it occurred amidst an environment of historically low inventory. Based on buyer demand, 2021 would have likely set a historic sales record with sufficient supply.

By category, active listings of single-family homes were 47 per cent lower last month than in December 2020 and down by 26 per cent from November. VIREB’s inventory of condo apartments declined by 71 per cent from one year ago and was 30 per cent lower than in November. Row/townhouse inventory dropped by 53 per cent year over year and was 13 per cent lower than the previous month.

As for sales, 226 single-family homes sold on the MLS® System in December, a 25 per cent decrease from one year ago and down 36 per cent from November. There were 75 condo apartment sales last month compared to 124 one year ago and 110 the previous month. In the row/townhouse category, 50 units sold in December compared to 53 one year ago and 98 in November 2021.

According to the British Columbia Real Estate Association, the supply situation is especially critical in markets outside the Lower Mainland, with one of the worst being Vancouver Island. Even if sales were to return to long-run average levels, total listings would need to nearly double to achieve a balanced market, and the road to doubling those listings lies in building more homes.

2021 VIREB president Ian Mackay repeated previous calls for new measures to increase housing stock. “Expanding inventory is the key to affordability, and it requires a coordinated effort from all levels of government and adequate incentives for municipalities to take action,” says Mackay. “The public also has a role to play by being more open to gentle densification in some areas.”

For more information, check out the following resources on REALTOR Link®.

Our December 2021 Market Update is provided above and available on YouTube; it summarizes our housing market in about two minutes. 

Please note: The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) transitioned to a new MLS® System in July 2020 and now uses a significantly different data model, which has affected our categories and terminology. For the boardsupplied graphs, single-family is now referred to as single-family detached, apartment as condo apartment, and townhouse as row/townhouse, which now includes patio homes. However, when reporting HPI numbers, VIREB still refers to single-family, apartment, and townhouse in the media release.

ABOUT VIREB - VIREB represents over 1,000 REALTORS® in nearly 90 member offices on Vancouver Island, from the Malahat in the south to the northern tip. VIREB cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but does not indicate the actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Trademarks are owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA (REALTOR® ) and/or the quality of services they provide (MLS® ). Visit our website for updated information at www.vireb.com. HPI Note: Areas with insufficient data do not generate statistics and are not included in the HPI graphs.

Courtesy of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board