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Pandemic Housing Trends Reversing in British Columbia?

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

COVID is credited for a hot housing market well beyond Vancouver's typical suburbs

According to numbers compiled by MLS, that trend has reversed.

Back in 2021, at the height of the COVID pandemic in BC, the further from Vancouver buyers looked, the hotter the real estate market was. Price wise at least

Throughout 2021 there was approximately a 60% price increase for house sales 100km distant from Vancouver.

Price increase relative to distance from Vancouver in 2021 (numbers are approximate)

British Columbia Real Estate Association CHART
British Columbia Real Estate Association CHART

- 20km up 15%

- 30km up 18%

- 35km up 10%

- 40km up 28%

- 50km up 30%

- 60km up 38%

- 70km up 40%

- 80km up 50%

Possible factors, the ability to work from home undoubtedly played a part. Remote working allowed potential buyers to set their sights a lot further outside Vancouver.

Now, many employers are asking workers to return to the office.

The trend toward higher prices further away from Vancouver appears to be reversing.

According to the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA), at the same time workers are returning to the office, the rise in house prices in the outer areas has reversed.

In fact, they're trending down a little. Average prices are hovering around the -10% range compared to 2021.

Province wide the picture is a little brighter, despite a slump in overall sales.

Looking at all of British Columbia, the BCREA cites MLS data that shows the number of houses sold was down 45.8% from 2021. The houses that did sell held their value making a modest gain of 1.7%.

BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson points to mortgage qualifying and rising interest rates as key factors in the decline.

“Mortgage qualifying continues to be a significant hurdle for many potential buyers as interest rates rise,”

“In addition, many trends that drove demand in smaller markets, such as remote work and the quest for affordable space, have faded in prominence. As a result, we see a stronger pullback in markets outside of major metropolitan areas.”

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 24.2 percent from the same period in 2021 to $68.5 billion. Residential unit sales were down 31.8% to 67,547 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 11.3% to $1.01 million.

For more information and the British Columbia Real Estate Association press release visit


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