Though March began with steady home buyer demand, market activity leveled off as the month went on. In the first ten business days of the month, daily residential sales on Metro Vancouver’s MLS® system averaged 138. In the last ten business days of the month, the average dropped 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,” noted Ashley Smith, REBGV President.
REALTORS® Named Essential Services
“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 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.”
March’s Housing Market at a Glance
There were 4,436 homes newly listed on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) system in Metro Vancouver in March 2020. This number represents a 10.4% decrease compared to March 2019, and a 10.8% increase compared to February 2020.
The total number of homes currently listed for sale on Metro Vancouver’s MLS® system is 9,606, a 24.8% decrease compared to March 2019 and a 4.5% increase compared to February 2020.
The sales-to-active-listings ratio for all property types for March 2020 is 26.3%. By property type, that’s 21.1% for detached homes, 33% for townhomes, and 28.9% for condominiums.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,033,700. This price represents a 2.1% increase over March 2019 and a 1.3% increase over February 2020.
Sales by Property Type
There were 852 sales of detached homes in March 2020, a significant (61.1%) increase compared to March 2019. The current benchmark price for detached properties is $1,450,700. This price represents a 0.7% increase from March 2019 and a 1.2% increase compared to February 2020.
Sales of apartment homes in March 2020 reached 1,179, representing a 35.1% increase compared to March 2019. The benchmark price of an apartment is now $687,000 — a 2.9% increase compared to March 2019 and a 1.4% increased compared to February 2020.
Attached home sales in March 2020 saw a 51.7% increase compared to last year, with 493 homes sold. The benchmark price of an attached home is now $791,800. This price represents a 2.5% increase from March 2019 and a 0.9% increased compared to February 2020.