After seeing real estate sales in July be the highest in three years, the questions have been bouncing around as to whether this is a short-term result or a market intent on continuing to produce through the rest of 2020. Low interest rates, pent up demand, not to mention the shut down in March and April, and a strong desire to find a different home has propelled the real estate market to where we are now.
Some highlights from July:
- East Vancouver, North Vancouver, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge are all down to 3 month’s supply of active listings – Townhouses in Port Coquitlam are down to one-month supply
- Richmond showed greater strength in the townhouse and condo market compared to the detached market with detached still in balanced to buyer’s market conditions while townhouses and condos have moved into seller’s market conditions
- The number of detached homes available has declined by 28 percent compared to July last year, while townhouses and condos have declined 17 per cent and 15 per cent respectively
- Vancouver’s Westside and Burnaby South had less sales in July this year compared to July last year – down 3 per cent and 25 per cent respectively which wasn’t consistent with all other areas
We saw a slight increase in the number of new listings in July, which was 22 per cent higher than the ten-year average for the month of July. As a result, at the end of July there were 12,796 homes for sale, compared to 12,146 at the end of June but still less than the 15,037 available at the end of July 2019 – a 15 per cent reduction in the number of homes available year-over-year. There is still a limited amount of homes available for sale which is resulting in multiple offers still occurring in all segments of the market – including two properties in Vancouver listed over $8 million that sold over the list price. Metro Vancouver isn’t the only place that is experiencing this. Throughout Canada and the United States, the number of homes for sale is down year-over-year. Even with the higher number of active listings last year those inventories were still low considering the lack of sales activity in the market here in Metro Vancouver. While we don’t know how long the pent-up demand will play out, the number of homes for sale is not likely to increase enough. Unlike recent reports of significant increase in condos for sale in Toronto, we still have a lack of supply here with Vancouver’s Westside condos at 5 month’s supply and Vancouver’s East side at 3 month’s supply.
What’s next? Will August continue the trend of a real estate market on the rise. For Greater Vancouver, the pent-up demand is not just from COVID but from almost three years of the market reacting to new taxes and restrictions on buyers. At some point activity would have increased and we saw that trend emerging just prior to COVID. Key points to consider are that interest rates are going to remain low in the years to come, real estate will be seen as a better long term investment vehicle and home owners are going to continue to look at the space they are living in and consider alternative locations or types of homes for the next phase of their life. That has been a theme over the last few months, and with the continued presence of COVID, we’ve likely seen just the start of homeowners making “COVID” moves. And when mobility increases within Canada and from outside, British Columbia and especially Metro Vancouver is going to be seen as a destination once again and likely more so than ever before. How we’ve fared thus far in COVID times has not gone unnoticed – especially from our neighbours to the south.
For more information on how you can sell or buy in this market, contact me anytime.