- June featured an array of positive indicators for the Greater Vancouver real estate market
- There was a significant increase in home sales in June compared to May 2020
- The median price for both homes and apartments continues to increase year-over-year
- Sales and listings of detached homes increased by 10% and 16% year-over-year respectively, suggesting the market has recovered to pre-Covid levels
- Sales and listings of apartments increased 17% and 34% year-over-year, respectively
June 2020 brought with it a swath of positive indicators with respect to the Greater Vancouver real estate market compared to both May 2020 and June 2019. Although the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic persist, sales, listings, and price data indicate that Vancouver’s real estate market is rebounding and attracting more buyers to the market.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reported that home sales and listing activity in Metro Vancouver began to approach historically typical levels in June despite lingering effects of the Covid-related economic slowdown. Residential home sales across the region totalled 2,443, an increase of 17.6% from June of 2019, and a 64.5% increase from May 2020.
REBGV chair Colette Gerber said in a news release that buyers are adapting their real estate shopping habits to the pandemic-influenced reality. She went on to say:
“REALTORS® continue to optimize new technology tools and practices to help their clients meet their housing needs in a safe and responsible way. Over the last three months, home buyers and sellers have become more comfortable operating within the physical distancing and other safety protocols in place.”
To further illustrate these positive trends in the Metro Vancouver real estate market, the analytics team at Roomvu analyzed data published by the REBGV in its June report. Figure 1 compares the number of detached homes and apartments sold in Greater Vancouver in June and May 2020.
Detached homes and apartments sales have surged 62.2% and 69.2% month-over-month, respectively. This is an indication that trust in new technology platforms in the housing market is increasing among realtors and their customers, as both sides have learned to adapt to new showing tools during the post-Covid period.
Figure 1. Number of Detached Homes and Apartments Sold in Greater Vancouver
The market for detached homes in Vancouver showed clear signs of recovery in June 2020 compared to pre-Covid levels. REBGV assessed that the benchmark price for a detached home in June was $1,464,200. This represents a 3.6% increase from June 2019 and a 0.5% increase compared to May 2020.
Figure 2 shows the median sold price of detached homes in nine select Greater Vancouver cities. The median prices of detached homes are experiencing an increase across all the cities in June 2020 compared to last year.
Figure 2. Median Sales Price for Detached Homes Sold in Different GV Municipalities
As Figures 2 and 3 illustrate, median prices of detached homes have not increased uniformly across Metro Vancouver. Areas experiencing the highest surges in median prices on a year-to-year basis were Vancouver East (8.6%) and Burnaby (4.8%). Sellers in these two locales might consider listing their properties sooner rather than later, given the strength of the market. Conversely, detached homes in Richmond, North Vancouver and Port Moody have experienced the smallest gains in median prices YoY.
Figure 3. Year-over-Year Changes in the Median Sales Price of Detached Homes Sold in Different
Compared to last year’s performance, Figure 4 shows the number of new listings for detached homes has increased by around 10% YoY to 1,916 across the Greater Vancouver area — the number of new listings in June 2019 was 1,735. The number of closed sales in June has also followed a similar upward trajectory, increasing by 16% from 746 in 2019 to 866 in 2020.
However, it is worth noting that a large gap still exists between new listings and the number of sales, with a net positive increase in the number of active listings. The effect of which is likely to result in a further build-up of inventory that had already been growing since the slow-down in market activities when social distancing policies were fully implemented.
Figure 4. Total Number of Sales and Listings in Greater Vancouver Detached Homes
The trend towards recovery is apparent even at the city level, where the number of sales in most individual cities experienced a YoY increase from June 2019, with the exception of New Westminster, Port Moody, and Richmond (Figure 5). Particularly large increases were observed in Port Moody and Vancouver West where the number of listings has grown 73% and 30% compared to last year’s level, respectively, as shown in Figure 6.
Figure 5. Number of Detached Homes Sales across Different Cities of Greater Vancouver
Figure 6. Year-over-Year Changes in the Number of Detached Homes Sold in Different GV Municipalities – June 2020 vs. 2019
Figure 7 highlights a similar increase in the number of listings across most cities. The impacts of an inventory build-up are evident in New Westminster, which has seen a drastic decrease in its detached homes sales in June 2020 compared to 2019 (Figure 6). New West also experienced a 25% month-over-month (MoM) decrease in the number of detached homes sales in June 2020 compared to the previous month. Moreover, the number of listings in this city is showing a bigger increase YoY compared to other GV municipalities presented in Figure 8; new listings have increased 44.12% MoM. Realtors in this city may need to put more effort on using new platforms to enhance the number of showings and potential buyers in this region.
Figure 7. Number of Detached Homes Listings across Different Cities of Greater Vancouver
Figure 8. Year-over-Year Changes in the Number of Detached Homes Listings in Different GV Municipalities – June 2020 vs. 2019
In its June report, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) states that the benchmark price of an apartment property is $680,800. This represents a 3.6% increase from June 2019 and a 0.8% decrease compared to May 2020.
Figure 9 shows the median sold price of detached homes in select GV municipalities. The median price of apartments in June 2020 increased across cities in Metro Vancouver from June 2019, as presented in Figure 10.
Figure 9. Median Sales Price for Apartments Sold in Different Municipalities
The growth in median prices of apartments is showing a more uniform trend than detached homes across the Greater Vancouver region. According to Figure 10, cities that have experienced the highest growth in the median prices of apartments YoY are Vancouver West (6.37%) followed by Port Moody (6.32%). The lowest YoY change belongs to New Westminster indicating that apartment prices have remained mostly stable.
Figure 10. Year-over-Year Changes in the Median Sales Price of Apartments Sold in Different GV Municipalities – June 2020 vs. 2019
Additionally, apartments in Greater Vancouver are showing an increase in the number of sales and listings when comparing June 2019 with 2020. Figure 11 illustrates that the number of sales has increased 17% YoY and the number of listings has grown by 34% YoY.
Figure 11. Total Number of Sales and Listings in Greater Vancouver Apartments
Figure 12. Number of Apartments Sold in Different Cities across Greater Vancouver
According to Figure 12, the number of sales for apartments in June 2020 has increased in all cities within the Greater Vancouver area, with the exception of Burnaby where the number of sales remained the same.
Further analysis of the data provides an estimate of YoY percentage change, which illustrates clear growth in the number of sales (Figure 12). Vancouver East, which saw a 49.4% increase in the number of sales, is the area that experienced the most growth compared to other cities. Coquitlam experienced the second-highest growth in YoY sales at 32.8%.
Figure 12. Year-over-Year Changes in the Number of Sales of Apartments in Greater Vancouver Cities- June 2020 vs. 2019
Positive growth trends have been observed in the number of listings for apartments in all cities within Metro Vancouver. Figure 13 compares June 2019 listings with June 2020. Vancouver West holds the highest number of listings among all cities in both June 2019 and 2020.
Figure 13. Number of Apartment Listings in Different Cities across Greater Vancouver
However, Port Moody has experienced the biggest YoY change, as presented in Figure 14. After Port Moody, Coquitlam has the largest YoY% change (49.29%), followed by Vancouver East (44.91%), while Vancouver West holds fourth place on the list (38.13%).
Figure 14. Number of Apartment Listings in different cities of Greater Vancouver
Recent expert analysis demonstrates that the Greater Vancouver real estate market is recovering in June 2020. As reported by News 1130, “Home sales and listings in Greater Vancouver returned to near pre-pandemic levels in June as the provincial government relaxed health and safety restrictions, while prices remained steady”.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic has had enormous effects on nearly every segment of the economy — the real estate market included— June 2020 data showed strong signs of a market rebound compared to both May 2020 and June 2019. Realtors have begun using new tools and platforms to show their listings to potential clients much more than in the past. As both realtors and clients adapt to and take advantage of novel technologies that adhere to Covid-related health protocols, the housing market in Metro Vancouver will continue to approach historically typical levels.