Metro Vancouver home sales drop by 44% in May, but prices remain steady

Jun 2 2020, 2:35 pm

The volume of home sales in Metro Vancouver reached 1,485 units in May 2020, representing a 44% decline over the 2,638 units sold in the same month in 2019, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

However, sales over the month were 34% higher than April 2020’s 1,109 units, but 54.4% below the 10-year May sales average.

Although COVID-19 has hit sales volumes hard due to physical distancing requirements, it has not had an impact on home prices, at least not yet. The composite benchmark price for all residential properties in the region in May was $1.028 million — almost unchanged from April 2020, a 1.4% increase over the last three months, and a 2.9% increase compared to May 2019.

But now that we are almost three months into physical distancing, home buyers and sellers have adapted and become more comfortable with the new temporary health safety protocols.

Over the month, there were 3,684 homes newly listed for sale, representing a 37.1% decrease over the 5,861 homes in May 2019, and a 59.3% increase compared to April 2020 when 2,313 homes were listed.

Currently, the total number of homes listed for sale is 9,927 units — a 32.4% decrease compared to the 14,685 units in May 2019, and a 5.7% increase compared to the 9,389 units in April 2020.

The sales-to-active listings ratio for all housing types over the month was 15%, including 13.5% for detached homes, 18.9% for townhomes, and 14.8% for apartments. A downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12% for a sustained period, while prices increase when it surpasses 20% over several months.

“Home prices have been stable during the COVID-19 period. While we’re seeing a variety of long-term projections for the market, it’s critical to understand the facts and trends as they emerge,” said Colette Gerber, chair of REBGV, in a statement.

May 2020 home sales statistics

  • Detached homes
    • Number of units sold: 534 (-41.5% year-over-year)
    • Active listings: 3,949
    • Benchmark price: $1,456,700 (+2.3% over April 2020; +2.2% over the past three months; +2.9% over May 2019)
    • Average days on market: 45
  • Apartment homes
    • Number of units sold: 653 (-47.6% year-over-year)
    • Active listings: 4,402
    • Benchmark price: $686,500 (-0.3% over April 2020; +0.9% over the past three months; +3% over May 2019)
    • Average days on market: 35
  • Townhouse sales
    • Number of units sold: 298 (-37.8% year-over-year)
    • Active listings: 1,576
    • Benchmark price: $792,700 (+0.2% over April 2020; +1.2% over the past three months; +1.8% over May 2019)
    • Average days on market: 39

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