Home sales in Metro Vancouver were steady at the beginning of March but dropped off in the last couple of weeks amid COVID-19 pandemic fears, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
This drop in activity will continue for a long while as buyers do not wish to be exposed to the virus and sellers who want to sell, and are financially sound, are waiting for life to return to normal - when it is safe to have strangers into their homes again. However, we are still seeing listings hit the market. I assume these are sellers who are on the brink of financial disaster are listing their homes. However, as the majority of buyers are not out touring homes, the ability to get top dollar is far from a sure thing.
Ridiculously, real estate is deemed an essential service. Just for the record, my feeling is we shouldn’t be in the same grouping as health care workers. If real estate took a mandatory pause for 30 days life would go on and demand would build up and activity would return to normal. However, if doctors, nurses, paramedics, and even grocery store workers took a 30 day pause the impact would be catastrophic.
Yes, everyone around the world is going to take a hit financially, and if you are not over-leveraged then my suggestion is to wait and see how the next month unfolds and take it from there. We are all in this together.
Focusing on the Downtown Vancouver condo market in March 2020, sales were quite strong but the true reflection of the impact of Covid-19 will be in the April report.
The under $900,000 market is selling at a very strong rate of 45% or 109 out of 241 homes are selling.
The $900,000 to $1,000,000 range is selling at another strong rate of 35% or 14 out of 40 homes are selling.
The $1,000,000 to $1,250,000 range is selling at an impressive rate of 18% or 12 out of 67 homes are selling.
The $1,250,000 to $2,000,000 range is selling at a rate of 17% or 24 out of 139 homes are selling.
The $2,000,000 to $2,500,000 range is selling at a rate of 13% or 4 out of 32 homes are selling.
The $2,500,000 to $5,000,000 range is slightly improving, selling at a rate of 9% or 6 out of 70 homes are selling.
The $5,000,000 and above bracket is selling at 5% as 2 out of 42 homes have sold.
Total unit sales in Downtown Vancouver were up 18% from last month and up 43% from March 2019.
Those who are priced correctly for this market are selling on average at a super fast rate of 7 days down from 9 days last month.
The median price increased 1% from last month, and the median price is down 2% from March 2019.
The average price per square foot slightly increased from $1,059 in January to $1,063 in March .
As it was in February, much of the increased activity has to do with very low inventory. Listings have only increased 10% from last month with 630 active listings but down 30% from March 2019.
As always, the sellers’ best bets are studios and 1 bedroom condos in the Downtown area. And the buyers’ best bets are Coal Harbour units, and homes priced over $4.5 million.
I hope you find this helpful, but should you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.