Vancouver real estate during COVID-19: Sales fall 44 per cent, but prices still high

VANCOUVER —
Buyers and sellers are getting used to the new normal in British Columbia’s real estate market.

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, prices are up slightly in May over the same time last year – an increase of 2.9 per cent. Although sales still lag, down about 44 per cent, they did rise sharply from April – up nearly 34 per cent.

“Home buyers and sellers are adapting today, becoming more comfortable operating with the physical distancing requirements that are in place in the market,” said Colette Gerber, REBGV chair, in a news release put out June 2.

Realtors are using new tools to show homes and buyers are having to follow strict protocols before being shown a listing, including physical distancing, limiting contact, and wearing protective gear like masks and gloves.

According to the release, for all housing types, the sales-to-active-listings ratio for May 2020 is 15 per cent.

By housing type, the ratio is 13.5 per cent for detached homes, 18.9 per cent for townhomes and 14.8 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 current MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is $1,028,400.

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