Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market Overview
We have moved into Phase 3 of the British Columbia COVID-19 Restart Plan which will allow for more businesses to open up, movement around the province and improvement in economic conditions. In looking at home sales in June, the real estate market had already moved into its next phase as June began with buyers and seller having become more engaged in real estate.
With limited showing measures and the continued focus on virtual means as a way to be introduced to homes for sale, week by week in June home sales kept increasing. There appears to be a renewed fever in the market, with market conditions coming close to resembling those seen at the beginning of March, pre COVID. And as the incidence for COVID-19 continue to be the lowest in Canada and in North America, there will be a positive energy that carries through the region and into real estate. And as the lyrics go from a song released in 1990 – don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years. We shouldn’t be surprised by the resiliency of Metro Vancouver’s real estate market.
There were 2,497 homes sold of all types in Greater Vancouver in June this year compared with 1,506 homes sold in May, 1,119 in April, 2,098 sales in June last year and 2,467 homes sold in June 2018. It was actually the fifth highest amount of sales for a month going back to May 2018. To me that’s improvement and a sign of a real estate market that wants to move – literally. Pent up demand continues to be a factor in the recovery of Metro Vancouver’s real estate market. And realistically, the market can’t be kept down. Two of the slowest years in activity that we’ve seen have put pressure on market activity to increase. In the first half of 2019 there were 10,992 homes sold and in the first half of 2020 there were 11,471 homes sold. That is fairly significant considering half of that period this year was in the midst of a global pandemic.
Lastly, many neighbourhoods and products are still under inventoried, desired and in high demand. This has resulted in some homes continuing to sell in multiple offer situations, with buyers competing to acquire the home, and homes selling over asking price. However, in general, it is a balanced market overall (and a buyer's market in some areas), so there are still opportunities for buyers.
The move to houses is showing a sign of a trend in Metro Vancouver – North Vancouver house sales were the highest by month in that region in 2020 with 84, compared with 71 and 69 in February and March respectively
There are 3 months supply of houses and townhouses in North Vancouver – into a seller’s market with sales of condos in June up 100 per cent compared to May – don’t count out the condo market
There are 3 months supply of houses, and 2 months supply of townhouses and condos in Port Coquitlam – firmly into a seller’s market
There were 43 per cent more houses sold in West Vancouver in June compared to the same month last year with the average price up 23 per cent from last month
Sales and new listings in Richmond were at the same levels as June last year while other areas saw increases in both but condo sales in June were 113 per cent higher than May – again, those condos are still in demand
Once again there was an increase in the number of homes available in Greater Vancouver in June. At the end of June there were 12,145 homes for sale, compared to 10,771 at the end of May but still less than the 15,770 available at the end of June 2019 – a 23 per cent reduction in the number of homes available year-over-year. At the end of May there were 30 per cent less homes available compared to the previous year. More choice is available, but that’s also helping to create more home sales. Even with the increase in the number of homes available, it is significantly below the 15,342 average that we’ve seen for the month of June going back to 1995. It would be the expectation that after the halting of market activity starting mid-March there would be a sudden increase in homes coming on the market, but yet there is still a shortage or homes available.
Predicting Metro Vancouver’s real estate market has long been a fascination of many. Dire predictions make the rounds, but it’s been clear the strength of the market has prevailed. Of course there are economic storm winds ahead, and unknowns as to which path COVID-19 will take but we live in a pretty amazing place and the course of what has happened over the last 4 months is being noticed by many around the world. Our region has and continues to be a safe place to be. Property will always be an investment vehicle, home ownership will always be sought after and with each day, British Columbia continues to shine in the eyes of the world. And while logic would suggest one type of property or area that allows for more separation or that is less densely populated will draw significant activity, every property type and location is unique and will likely perform in ways many wouldn’t have anticipated. Far be it from Metro Vancouver real estate to follow predictability – it always has a surprise up its sleeve.
“REALTORS® continue to optimize new technology tools and practices to help their clients meet their housing needs in a safe and responsible way,” Colette Gerber, REBGV Chair said, “Over the last three months, home buyers and sellers have become more comfortable operating within the physical distancing and other safety protocols in place.”
East of Vancouver, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,718 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® in June, an increase of 113 per cent compared to sales in May and a 32 per cent increase compared to the 1,306 sales in June of last year. Last month’s sales were 6.4 per cent below the ten-year average for June. There were 3,456 new listings in June, a 57 per cent increase compared to May and a 23 per cent decrease compared to June of last year. May finished with 7,063 active listings, an increase of 9 per cent compared to May’s inventory and a decrease of 17 per cent year-over-year.
“It’s due to a combination of factors. Obviously, very low interest rates, pent-up demand from the previous three months when the market was on hold and the new CMHC rules that came into effect on July 1st making it harder to qualify for the mortgage insurance.” Chris Shields, President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board said. “We can’t predict how our market will continue to respond during COVID, but what we do know is that historically, over 80 per cent of Fraser Valley buyers move within our region and half purchase within their own community. People buy and sell for lifestyle reasons and currently, even during this uncertain time, conditions are favourable. The market is balanced, inventory is growing, and prices remain stable.
Average Weekly Listing and Sales Statistics for Greater Vancouver During Covid-19
- First two weeks of March – 253 new listings, 138 sales
- March 23 to 27 – 172 New Listings, 131 Sales
- March 30 to April 3 – 104 new listings, 62 sales
- April 6 to April 9 – 137 new listings, 58 sales
- April 14 to 17 – 131 new listings, 63 sales
- April 20 to 24 – 117 new listings, 48 sales
- April 27 to May 1 – 126 new listings, 48 sales
- May 4 to 8 – 168 new listings, 58 sales
- May 11 to 15 – 169 new listings, 69 sales
- May 19 to 22 – 243 new listings, 93 sales
- May 25 to 29 – 196 new listings, 90 sales
- June 1 to 5 - 271 new listings, 88 sales
- June 8 to 12 – 272 new listings, 107 sales
- June 15 to 19 – 274 new listings, 120 sales
- June 22 to 26 – 241 new listings, 129 sales
Fraser Valley MLS® HPI Benchmark Price Activity
- Property sales more than double in one month as buyers continue to return to the market
- Single Family Detached: At $994,500, the Benchmark price for a single‐family detached home in the Fraser Valley increased 0.4 per cent compared to May and, increased 3.6 per cent compared to June 2019.
- Townhomes: At $559,600, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 0.8 per cent compared to May and increased 1.9 per cent compared to June 2019.
- Apartments: At $435,300, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 0.4 per cent compared to May and increased 3.3 per cent compared to June 2019
Canadian Mortgage Rates have Fallen
Another factor influencing the market are the lower mortgage rates. On July 13, 2020, ThinkMortgages.com provided the following update:
- Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said late last month that the institution will be using low rates as its main instrument in charting the path for the nation’s post-pandemic monetary policy.
- 5-year bonds went downward 2 basis points settling at 0.36
High Ratio Mortgage (less than 20% downpayment) with 25 Year Amortization:
- 5 year fixed rate: 2.19%. Which translates into $433 a month per $100K borrowed
- 5 year closed variable rate: Prime -0.46 or 1.99%. Which translates into $423 a month per $100K borrowed
Conventional Mortgage (at least 20% downpayment) with 30 Year Amortization:
- 5 year fixed rate: 2.34%. Which translates into $357 a month per $100K borrowed
- 5 year closed variable rate: Prime -0.35 or 2.10%. Which translates into $375 a month per $100K borrowed
What Does This Mean To You?
Depending on what you're buying or selling, there are opportunities for both buyers and sellers in today's market.
But every neighbourhood and home is unique. So, as your real estate professionals, we're always here to help. We can fill you in on what’s happening in the local market, help you determine what kind of new home you are qualified to purchase, provide the current value of your home and provide a clear idea of the properties currently available.
You don’t have to try to figure things out on your own! We're here to help.
Even if you’re just at the “thinking about it” stage, we recommend getting the information you need now. That way, you’ll be prepared to make the best decision when you’re ready.
So, How Are We Conducting Our Business to Keep Everyone Safe?
As real estate is deemed an essential service by the government, we're able to continue to help clients buy and sell real estate during Covid-19.
As always, the safety of our clients, community and all those involved, is our top priority.
Therefore, we’ve implemented safety precautions, viewing guidelines and are working virtually and electronically as much as possible. Masks and social distancing are the new norms.
For sellers, we continue to create floor plans, videos, 3D virtual tours and high-end marketing for our listings. This is extremely important to buyers and sellers in these times. It allows buyers to preview the property from the safety of their home and determine if a private showing is warranted. Therefore, sellers will have less people viewing their home in person, but the ones who do, are more serious about their home.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
View Detailed Market Statistical Packages
To view all the details of the current Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver West and Vancouver East real estate market statistics and graphs, just click the desired buttons below to open a detailed PDF report.