Metro Vancouver’s housing market has experienced a sudden drop off as a result of COVID-19, according to new statistics for April 2020 by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).
Home sales for the month totalled 1,109 units, representing a 39.4% decrease from 1,829 sales recorded over the same period in 2019, and a 56.1% decrease from the 2,524 homes sold in March 2020.
Moreover, April’s sales were 62.7% below the 10-year April sales average and the lowest total for the month since 1982.
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As for listings, there were 2,313 units newly listed for sale, but this was a 59.7% decrease compared to the 5,742 homes in April 2019 and 47.9% decrease compared to the 4,436 homes in March 2020. Currently, there are 9,389 homes listed for sale in the region, which is a 34.6% drop compared to the 14,357 homes in April 2019 and a 2.3% drop compared to the 9,606 homes in March 2020.
Physical distancing, self-isolation, and the general uncertainty from the shutdown of much of the economy have led to the decline in home sales and listings. Realtors, bounded by the policies of their brokerages, have also suspended much of their face-to-face business such as open houses.
With these numbers, the sales-to-active listings ratio for the month was 11.8%, with 10% for detached homes, 14.7% for townhomes, and 12.4% for apartments. A downward pressure on home prices usually occurs when this ratio dips below 12% for a sustained period.
So far, early in the pandemic, home prices are holding steady, with the composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver sitting at 1.036 million — a 2.5% increase over April 2019, and a 0.2% increase compared to March 2020.
April 2020 home sales statistics
- Detached homes
- Number of units sold: 388 (-33.8% year-over-year)
- Active listings: 3,863
- Benchmark price: $1,462,100 (+2.3% year-over-year; +0.8% over March 2020)
- Average days on market: 44
- Apartment homes
- Number of units sold: 503 (-43.2% year-over-year)
- Active listings: 4,045
- Benchmark price: $685,500 (+2.7% year-over-year; -0.2% over March 2020)
- Average days on market: 29
- Townhouse sales
- Number of units sold: 218 (-39.1% year-over-year)
- Active listings: 1,481
- Benchmark price: $796,800 (+2.5% year-over-year; +0.6% over March 2020)
- Average days on market: 32