I sincerely hope this update finds you and your loved ones safe and well during these difficult times.
I wanted to provide you with a quick update as the latest market stats have just been released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. As you would expect, the last two weeks have been very slow. This is a complete 180 degree turn from the first two weeks of March which were some of the busiest weeks in recent years.
The following quotes from REBGV President Ashley Smith sums up where we currently stand:
“The first two weeks of (March) were the busiest days of the year for our region with heightened demand and multiple offers becoming more common,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said, “Like other aspects of our lives, this changed as concerns over the COVID-19 situation in our province grew.”
“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,” Smith said.
RBC released a report in early April that predicts the number of home sales to drop during the pandemic which certainly makes sense. The report also states that this is temporary and will recover once we get through this.
I do not believe prices will drop significantly while we experience reduced sales numbers. Other parts of Canada may see drops in value but in Metro Vancouver I expect prices to hold well. There are a number of reasons I say this but to keep it brief, I’m encouraged by past down markets I have experienced in my career. We just came through one of the slowest markets anyone has experienced and still prices did not “crash”. This was also the case looking back to 2008 where we saw sales numbers drop but prices again held relatively strongly. Most importantly, in both of those cases the market rebounded significantly when confidence returned and positive momentum was clear.
Vancouverites know better than most how great a sunny day is after a couple weeks of rain, and while this might not be the best metaphor to use in this situation, it does give me hope that when we get through this, we will appreciate the little things like never before and that will also impact many other areas of our lives.
The real estate market may see reduced sales and lower listings counts, but as life returns to normal I expect the market will bounce back. As noted, the market was really heating up right before the pandemic hit and with interest rates still very low, I expect that sunny days ahead will bring back increased activity and a strong real estate market.
If you have any questions or if there is anything I can do to help you, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Royal LePage Sussex