May 2020 Greater Vancouver BC Real Estate Market Statistics

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market Highlights

“Home prices have been stable during the COVID-19 period,” Colette Gerber, REBGV Chair said, “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. Home sale and listing activity is down compared to typical, long-term levels and up compared to the activity we saw in April 2020. Home buyers and sellers are adapting today, becoming more comfortable operating with the physical distancing requirements that are in place in the market.”

Detached home sales outside of Vancouver performed better year-over-year compared to townhouse and apartments showing the need for space and separation were and will be important factors in home decisions moving forward.

Absorption rates still continue to be stronger than the first quarter of 2019.

Compared to the last two weeks of April which showed the most significant lag in home sales and new listings, it was the opposite for May which saw the second half out perform the first and we are seeing more multiple offers occurring.

Detached houses in Port Coquitlam saw the highest absorption rate with 30 homes sold and only 30 homes listed.

According to a survey of landlords by the Urban Development Institute and LandlordBC, residential landlords reported the highest percentage of full rent payments at 86 per cent with overall rent payments at 90 per cent and only 3 per cent not collecting any rent.

CMHC announced a tightening of mortgage rules for insured (high ratio) mortgage, but fortunately for buyers, Genworth and Canada Guaranty will not be following suit.

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.

Thoughts from our Chief Economist at Dexter Realty

The number of homes available for sale in Greater Vancouver increased in May. At the end of May there were 10,771 homes for sale, compared to 10,115 at the end of April and 15,452 at the end of May 2019 – a 30 per cent reduction in the number of homes available year-over-year. Even with the increase in the number of homes actively for sale, it is still the 4th lowest amount for the month of May going back to 1995.

Make no mistake, there is a shortage of homes for sale.

The number of new listings in May for Greater Vancouver increased with there being 3,777 homes listed for sale compared to 2,399 in April but this was the first time there were fewer than 4,000 new listings in the month of May going back to 1991. This amount was well below the 10-year average for May which is 6,344. Current market conditions continue to be different in every way compared to other market downturns with home sales and listing activity decreasing tantamount to each other.

The market is still operating but in a vacuum of much less activity due to the pandemic. There hasn’t been an indication of any kind of panic in the market. Yes, economic conditions continue to be something that will need to be considered going forward but with British Columbia having much less instances of mortgage deferrals and less insured mortgages as a percentage of overall in Canada, the real estate market can be seen to have less risk than other parts of Canada. With mortgage rates at all-time lows and government continuing to provide economic stimulus, there are certainly backstops in place to help keep the real estate market from going down a negative road that some are trying to predict. That tied with the numbers in the statistics, Metro Vancouver and much of the province is in a better position going through the pandemic and as such, deciphering real estate markets should be done on a regional basis. And perhaps at the end of the day, let the market speak for itself."

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

Fraser Valley MLS® HPI Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $990,400, the Benchmark price for a single‐family detached home in the Fraser Valley decreased 0.2 per cent compared to April and, increased 2.7 per cent compared to May 2019.
  • Townhomes: At $555,000, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 0.4 percent compared to April and increased 1.8 per cent compared to May 2019.
  • Apartments: At $433,700, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley decreased 1.0 percent compared to April and increased 1.0 per cent compared to May 2019.

Canadian Mortgage Rates have Fallen

Another factor influencing the market are the lower mortgage rates. On June 15, 2020, provided the following update:

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 -0.35 or 2.10%. Which translates into $429 a month per $100K borrowed

Conventional Mortgage (at least 20% downpayment) with 30 Year Amortization:

  • 5 year fixed rate: 2.44%. Which translates into $392 a month per $100K borrowed
  • 5 year closed variable rate: Prime -0.30 or 2.25%. Which translates into $382 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

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