Vancouver region breaks home sales record in April a year after pandemic shut down market

While the pandemic sent the economy reeling last March, the extent of the impact on the housing market wasn’t evident until April 2020 sales activity numbers were released.

For the Vancouver region, the figures looked pretty scary. Home sales fell nearly 40 percent annually and 56 percent on a monthly basis in April.

But now, a year after the first full month of the pandemic-induced home sales freeze, the Vancouver region housing market is continuing its historic run of record-breaking sales activity.

Last month, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) recorded 4,908 transactions, a remarkable 342.6 percent increase from their depressed April 2020 total. That figure represents an all-time high for the month and came in 56.2 percent above the 10-year average for April.

The big story from the new data published this week by REBGV wasn’t just the ongoing sales surge, it also marked another strong month for the supply side of the market. There were 7,938 homes newly listed for sale in the Vancouver region in April, up 243.2 percent compared to a year ago and the highest ever recorded for the month.

“Our housing market has changed considerably from one year ago when COVID-19 concerns brought activity to a near standstill,” said REBGV Economist Keith Stewart.

“This was followed by a well-documented spike in home buyer demand across the region. So far this spring, we’ve seen a corresponding supply response from home sellers. While homes are now being listed at record levels, more supply is needed to meet today’s demand and help market conditions achieve greater balance,” he continued.

Based on the sales-to-active listings ratios for each property type tracked by REBGV, all property types remained deep in seller’s market territory in April despite the record increase in supply.

On the pricing front, the MLS Home Price Index for the Vancouver region rose by 12 percent annually to $1,152,600 last month.

Despite homebuyers scooping up a record-breaking number of properties in April, the total for the month represents a noteworthy sales decline from March, when 5,703 homes were sold. Anticipating that April wouldn’t soar to the heights seen in March, Vancouver broker Kevin Skipworth wrote earlier in the month that “the volume has come down a little on Greater Vancouver’s real estate market.”

Sean MacKay May 5, 2021

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