The beginning of March saw a steady buyer demand in Metro Vancouver's housing market and a levelling off of activity as the month went on and concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak intensified.
According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), residential home sales in the region totalled 2,524 in March 2020, a 46.1% increase from the 1,727 sales recorded in March 2019, and a 17.4% increase from the 2,150 homes sold in February 2020.
Sales from last month were 19.9% below the 10-year March sales average. The region's residential sales as per MLS® were 138 on average in the first ten business days of the month. The daily average declined to 93 sales in the final ten business days of the month.
Ashley Smith, REBGV president said, "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."
In March 2020, there were 4,436 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver. This represents a 10.4% decrease compared to the 4,949 homes listed in March 2019 and a 10.8% increase compared to February 2020 when 4,002 homes were listed.
"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."
In March 2020, the sales-to-active listings ratio was 26.3%. By property type, the ratio is 21.1% for detached homes, 33% for townhomes, and 28.9% for apartments.
In Metro Vancouver, the MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties is currently $1,033,700. This represents a 2.1% increase over March 2019, and a 1.3% increase compared to February 2020.
In March 2020, sales of detached homes reached 852, a 61.1% increase from the 529 detached sales recorded in March 2019. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,450,700. The sale of apartment homes in the same period reached 1,179 a 35.1% increase compared to the 873 sales in March 2019. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $687,000. Finally, the sales of attached homes for the same period reached 493, a 51.7% increase compared to the 325 sales in March 2019. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $791,800.