We’re now right in the exact middle of June. While the market downturn in the Lower Mainland is the same as seen elsewhere in major markets in Canada due to COVID-19 there continues to be indicators that the real estate market in the country overall is showing itself to be more resilient than many have given it credit for.
As we’ve stressed many times, Canada is in a more fortuitous position to whether this storm as compared to other countries (and in comparison to the USA in particular here in North America) because of the realities of our supply and demand dynamic here. Without going into too much detail, the demand for homes in this country – and in particular in and around major metro areas like Vancouver and Toronto – outstrips supply.
That is turning out to be very much a counterbalance against seeing the market become too depressed. Which of course benefits new realtors working in certain areas, and in much the same way that our online real estate lead generation system for Canada here at Real Estate Leads is a real advantage for them in utilizing Internet Marketing methodologies to be fast-tracked to being put in touch with genuine prospective clients.
There are many would-be homebuyers who have turned their attention to Langley, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack in the Fraser Valley as a response to being unable to afford a detached home in Greater Vancouver, and they’re a large part of why the Valley is in fact one of those areas that’s contributing to the resiliency we pointed out above for the Real Estate market in Canada.
May and June to Date Exceeding Expectations
Fresh data from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) are showing that the region’s property sales and listings have showed notable recovery in May, and that this trend seems to be continuing through the first half of June.
The local industry consensus is that the main driver of this is the market’s steady adjustment to new safety measures required to buy and sell a home during the provincial state of emergency due to COVID-19, and the last part of that is directly from the FVREB (Fraser Valley Real Estate Board)
Agents and economists alike agree that this is an encouraging sign. Real estate is an essential service and in BC it’s an irreplaceable economic driver for the Province. It hasn’t been easy for people to adapt quickly to physical distancing, virtual tools, and strict personal safety protocols, but the market continues to see more and more transactions happening daily as we all familiarize ourselves with the new normal and become comfortable with it.
Sales activity for May in this part of the Southwestern Corner of BC went up 17% from April, and that created some 800+ transactions. This volume was 47% lower than May of the year previous (2019) and its level of 1,517 sales. At the same time 2,207 new listings went live in the market, which was 56% higher monthly and 38% lower annually.
Active listings in the Fraser Valley stood at 6,454 properties, which was an increase of 8% from April but a decrease of 24% from May of last year.
Resilient Market, and One of Many
Yes, overall numbers remain significantly lower than seasonal norms, but there’s no way around that given the way so many buyers have had their purchasing power taken away from them during this time. However, the market continues to show itself to be resilient and people in the real estate industry continue to work together to ensure public safety. This is going to help the market improve even further once the best workings of it are figured out.
The Fraser Valley’s REB (real estate board) data release also indicated overall prices remaining stable, pointing to a benchmark price for single-family homes of $990,400. This is down by 0.2% monthly and growing by 2.7% annually.
Overall – and again touching on what we talked about in the beginning of this blog – a lot of downward pressure on prices is attributable to a shortage of inventory. It might come as a surprise to some that multiple offer situations are even being seen where buyers are paying above-asking price, but honestly it hasn’t been for us here.
Wishing you all continued success and resiliency of your own while working in real estate during this time.
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