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Home buyers and sellers adjust their activities in March amid challenging circumstances


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Shared on April 2nd, 2020

VANCOUVER, BC – April 2, 2020 – Metro Vancouver’s* housing market saw steady home
buyer demand to begin March and a levelling off of activity as the month went on and concerns
about the COVID-19 outbreak intensified.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the
region totalled 2,524 in March 2020, a 46.1 per cent increase from the 1,727 sales recorded in
March 2019, and a 17.4 per cent increase from the 2,150 homes sold in February 2020.
Last month’s sales were 19.9 per cent below the 10-year March sales average.
“The first two weeks of the month were the busiest days of the year for our region with
heightened demand and multiple offers becoming more common,” Ashley Smith, REBGV
president said, “Like other aspects of our lives, this changed as concerns over the COVID-19
situation in our province grew.”
Daily residential sales on the region’s MLS® were 138 on average in the first ten business days
of the month. In the final ten business days of the month, the daily average declined to 93 sales.
“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,” Smith said.
“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. 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.”
There were 4,436 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in March 2020. This represents a 10.4
per cent decrease compared to the 4,949 homes listed in March 2019 and a 10.8 per cent increase
compared to February 2020 when 4,002 homes were listed.
The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is
9,606, a 24.8 per cent decrease compared to March 2019 (12,774) and a 4.5 per cent increase
compared to February 2020 (9,195).
“Realtors were named among the province’s list of essential services last week,” Smith said.
“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.”
For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for March 2020 is 26.3 per cent. By
property type, the ratio is 21.1 per cent for detached homes, 33 per cent for townhomes, and 28.9
per cent for apartments.
Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12
per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it
surpasses 20 per cent over several months.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro
Vancouver is currently $1,033,700. This represents a 2.1 per cent increase over March 2019, and
a 1.3 per cent increase compared to February 2020.
Sales of detached homes in March 2020 reached 852, a 61.1 per cent increase from the 529
detached sales recorded in March 2019. The benchmark price for detached properties is
$1,450,700. This represents a 0.7 per cent increase from March 2019, and a 1.2 per cent increase
compared to February 2020.
Sales of apartment homes reached 1,179 in March 2020, a 35.1 per cent increase compared to the
873 sales in March 2019. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $687,000. This
represents a 2.9 per cent increase from March 2019, and a 1.4 per cent increase compared to
February 2020.
Attached home sales in March 2020 totalled 493, a 51.7 per cent increase compared to the 325
sales in March 2019. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $791,800. This represents a 2.5
per cent increase from March 2019, and a 0.9 per cent increase compared to February 2020.

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Home buyers and sellers adjust their activities in March amid challenging circumstances

VANCOUVER, BC – April 2, 2020 – Metro Vancouver’s* housing market saw steady home buyer demand to begin March and a levelling off of activity ... [read more]