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Vancouver Real Estate Market Update April 2020

Blog by Gary Paul | April 17th, 2020

Sales activity for March 2020 shows an increase in the number of homes sold compared to this time last year by almost 46%. The Real Estate Board reports that last month we saw 4,436 single family homes, town homes and apartments listed for sale and that brought the total inventory to 9,606 units, this is a decrease of 10.4% compared to the same period in 2019. With a total of 2,524 properties having been sold, this represents an absorption of 26.3% of the inventory.

On the surface, these results indicate a strong real estate market. Digging deeper into the sales activity we see that the majority of the sales took place in the early part of March, before the current pandemic concerns changed the face of the market. It is believed that most of the sales were already in the pipeline and were going to happen in any event. The lack of activity in the last week or so of the month of March are likely to continue into April as many people have understandably chosen to put their home buying or selling plans on hold. Others that have more urgent needs to buy and sell are continuing to navigate changing times and conditions with safety protocols and health waivers being created and implemented so that life in the real estate world can continue.

As for prices, the benchmark composite price for a single family home decreased 0.7% to $1,450,700 from a year ago. Apartment condo sale prices increased 2.9% year over year to $687,000 and attached home prices saw a increase of 2.7% from March of 2019 with the benchmark price last month reaching $791,800.

The Bank of Canada has lowered the Bank of Canada rate by 1.5% in less than a month. Canada’s mortgage lenders have lowered their prime lending rate by an equal amount. This benefits existing variable rate mortgage borrowers, those that have variable rate mortgages at prime less 1.0%. They are now enjoying rates as low as 1.5%

This is almost as low as we saw in 2009 following the world liquidity crisis. Most homeowners and buyers assumed that fixed rate mortgages would have dropped as well, and this has not been the case, each time the Bank of Canada lowered the Bank of Canada Rate, the banks actually increased fixed rate mortgages.

I cover the Greater Vancouver area, to find out what is happening in your local market feel free to contact me by phone or email.