From the office - May 2020

Some highlights from May: 
  • Detached home sales outside of Vancouver performed better year-over-year compared to townhouse and apartments showing the need for space and separation were and will be important factors in home decisions moving forward
  • Absorption rates still continue to be better than what we saw in the first quarter of 2019
  • Compared to the last two weeks of April which showed the most significant lag in home sales and new listings, it was the opposite for May which saw the second half out perform the first and we are seeing more multiple offers occurring
  • Port Coquitlam detached houses saw the highest absorption rate with 30 homes sold and only 30 homes listed
  • According to a survey of landlords by the Urban Development Institute and LandlordBC, residential landlords reported the highest percentage of full rent payments at 86 per cent with overall rent payments at 90 per cent and only 3 per cent not collecting any rent
  The number of homes available for sale in Greater Vancouver increased in May. At the end of May there were 10,771 homes for sale, compared to 10,115 at the end of April and 15,452 at the end of May 2019 – a 30 per cent reduction in the number of homes available year-over-year. Even with the increase in the number of homes actively for sale, it is still the 4th lowest amount for the month of May going back to 1995. Make no mistake, there is a shortage of homes for sale. The number of new listings in May for Greater Vancouver increased with there being 3,777 homes listed for sale compared to 2,399 in April but this was the first time there were fewer than 4,000 new listings in the month of May going back to 1991. This amount was well below the 10-year average for May which is 6,344. Current market conditions continue to be different in every way compared to other market downturns with home sales and listing activity decreasing tantamount to each other. The market is still operating but in a vacuum of much less activity due to the pandemic. There hasn’t been an indication of any kind of panic in the market. Yes, economic conditions continue to be something that will need to be considered going forward but with British Columbia having much less instances of mortgage deferrals and less insured mortgages as a percentage of overall in Canada, the real estate market can be seen to have less risk than other parts of Canada. With mortgage rates at all-time lows and government continuing to provide economic stimulus, there are certainly backstops in place to help keep the real estate market from going down a negative road that some are trying to predict. That tied with the numbers in the graphs below, Metro Vancouver and much of the province is in a better position going through the pandemic and as such, deciphering real estate markets should be done on a regional basis. And perhaps at the end of the day, let the market speak for itself.