Metro Vancouver home sales slowed down in March with the growing crisis: REBGV

Apr 2 2020, 12:12 pm

Home sales in Metro Vancouver during the first two weeks of March 2020 were exceptionally strong, but this all changed in the latter half of the month, when the local COVID-19 situation evolved into an epidemic.

New statistics published today by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) shows total home sales in the region reached 2,524 last month — a 46.1% increase from the 1,727 sales in the same period in 2019, and a 17.4% increase from the 2,150 homes sold in February 2020.

The sales for March 2020 were 20% below the 10-year March sales average.

Over the first 10 business days of the month, daily home sales averaged 138 units. This dropped to a daily average of 93 unit sales over the 10 ten business days of March.

“Many of the sales recorded in March were in process before the provincial government declared a state of emergency. We’ll need more time to pass to fully understand the impact that the pandemic is having on the housing market,” said Ashley Smith, president of REBGV, in a statement.

Realtors have also been urged by the real estate board and the provincial government to temporarily halt open houses and other face-to-face business. The requirement of staging open houses for listings has been suspended to accommodate this.

“In recent weeks, realtors have been working to help and guide their clients through this uncertain period. Many people have understandably chosen to put their home buying or selling plans on hold for now,” she added.

“Other people have more urgent housing needs and we’re trying to work with them to address these needs in the safest and most responsible way possible.”

For the month, there were 4,436 homes newly listed for sale, which is a 10.4% decrease compared to the 4,949 homes listed in March 2019, and a 10.8% increase compared to February 2020, when 4,002 homes were listed.

Currently, there are 9,606 homes listed for sale, representing a 24.8% decline compared to 12,774 homes in March 2019, and a 4.5% increase compared to 9,195 homes in February 2020.

“Realtors were named among the province’s list of essential services last week,” continued Smith. “This means that we have a responsibility to do what we can to help residents meet their housing and shelter needs while strictly following the most up-to-date public health orders and physical distancing requirements from our health officials and government agencies.”

The benchmark price for all residential property types in the region is currently $1,033,700 — a 2.1% increase over March 2019, and a 1.3% increase compared to February 2020.

March 2020 home sales statistics

  • Detached homes
    • Number of units sold: 852 (+61.1% year-over-year)
    • Active listings: 4,031
    • Benchmark price: $1,450,700 (+0.7% year-over-year; +1.2% over February 2020)
    • Average days on market: 43
  • Apartment homes
    • Number of units sold: 1,179 (+35.1% year-over-year)
    • Active listings: 4,081
    • Benchmark price: $687,000 (+2.9% year-over-year; +1.4% over February 2020)
    • Average days on market: 29
  • Townhouse sales
    • Number of units sold: 493 (+51.7% year-over-year)
    • Active listings: 1,494
    • Benchmark price: $791,800 (+2.5% year-over-year; +1.7% over February 2020)
    • Average days on market: 30