Hi Everyone. So we’re into April now and a few weeks into our “Stay at Home” measure. This measure started about halfway into March, so the month of March tells two different stories. April’s numbers are going to be a much more realistic measure of the change in activity. As per the Real Estate Board, the first half of the month were “the busiest days of the year for our region with heightened demand and multiple offers becoming more common” and boy was that the truth. Anything good was getting multiple offers and a lot of Buyers were excited about the additional influx of inventory we were expecting to see in the Spring. Interest rates were good and Buyer confidence was back after a slow 2018-2019. This allowed Sellers to upgrade to a bigger home and produced a lot of activity and excitement.
As the province forced restaurants and bars to close, and asked anyone who could work from home to do so, the number of real estate transactions dropped quickly. There were still some people who needed to buy or sell and they continued on their quest, and I expect we’ll see more of that activity in the next few weeks as people have had time to consider their situation and needs. I would imagine that anyone who has their home listed for sale right now is pretty keen to sell and with an expected recession, there are going to be opportunities for Buyers to get into the market if they have retained their job and didn’t see a huge hit to their financial situation.
Listing Agents are ensuring people are only viewing if they aren’t showing any symptoms, and are asking people to wash their hands before the viewing, using protective gear and cleaning units before and after all showings. Many realtors are also asking all parties involved in the showing to sign a waiver indicating that everyone is following proper procedure themselves, and are waiving liability in case anyone gets sick.
Mortgage interest rates have dropped (again!) and are expected to stay low for awhile. I’m on a variable rate mortgage and as of this week my rate dropped to 1.5% (thankfully that results in some much appreciated monthly savings, though rates will increase again in the future). A lot of Buyers are taking this opportunity to defer their mortgage or re-finance with these low rates as well, so check in with your mortgage broker for more information. As always, don’t hesitate to ask me if you need a referral to a great mortgage broker.
I have been spending a lot of my time researching economic cycles, recession and the Vancouver market over the last few decades in an effort to be prepared and knowledgeable from what we’re experiencing now. We just came out of a slow market in 2018-2019 so the memories of a slow market and how to attack it are still fresh. I had a lot of clients waiting for the market to drop during the slow market, only to miss the boat and end up in competing offer situations. This sentence remains true: “How do you know we’ve hit the bottom of the market? Prices have increased”. When the market is slow, you have to be an active Buyer negotiating with Sellers in order to find the deals. And in the excitement of finding a deal, don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re trying to find the right home. Good properties in good buildings in good locations will be a better option for you long term, and will always be an easier sell when it comes time to move.
Onto the stats.
The stats below are for the entire month of March, and can’t be split up into days or weeks, so it’s hard to see the difference this month. April’s numbers will be more interesting as that will likely be a full month indicating the impact on the market.
On the Westside of Vancouver:
– HPI Price remained steady this month, across the board. Prices in this market have been really consistent all year despite a huge decrease in median Days on Market and a huge increase in the Sales to Active Ratio. That tells me that Sellers hit a point where they weren’t willing to budge on price and waited for the market to improve.
– The detached house market has been really robust this year, and still, despite the pandemic. I have heard that there has been an increase in foreign buyers over the last few months which isn’t a surprise given how much the market has dropped over the last year or two. Not only does BC look like an amazing, well managed city during the pandemic, but the decline in price makes up for the extra foreign buyers tax that foreign buyers would have to pay. Check out the median Days on Market drop from January!
– Westside Condos saw a big increase in both inventory and new listings. I imagine a lot of this is attributed to downtown investor owned condos being listed for sale at the start of this pandemic. Sales were up as well so that was the extra boost in confidence many Sellers likely needed to list ASAP.
– Activity in the westside Townhouse market increased significantly in February like the detached market, and it has retained a steady HPI Price. Inventory is slightly down.
Vancouver Westside Real Estate Stats up to and including March 2020
On the Eastside of Vancouver:
– The HPI Price increased slightly this past month, across the board.
– The detached house market saw a drop in total inventory but an increase in new listings. I can imagine Sellers who already had their property for sale that wasn’t selling took their home off the market once this “stay at home” measure was in place, whereas a swath of new Sellers listed their home as the pandemic worsened in order to sell before things got really slow.
– Condo inventory slowed down this month, though sales continued. HPI and average sale price dropped ever so slightly. I find first time condo buyers to be the most nervous, so this market always slows the most whenever the general market slows, however, this was also a busy market so there is room to slow down.
– The townhouse market is generally the steadiest and smallest market. It saw fewer new listings and the smallest increase in sales.
East Vancouver Real Estate Stats up to and including March 2020
If you’d like to follow the ups and downs in the market, I can set you up on a Custom Real Estate Search. Contact me to get that started: firstname.lastname@example.org or 778-387-7371.
Sending you love and happiness during this crazy time!