The July MLS statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver show signs that buyers and sellers of Greater Vancouver real estate are adjusting to the “new normal”. Surprisingly, the region’s residential market is more active right now than at the same time last year with higher HPI prices, more sales, and more new listings coming to market.
July’s sales numbers came in shining with volumes continuing to accelerate. Sales were 28% higher than in June, 22.3% higher than last year, and 9.4% above the ten-year average for July. Presumably, there is some pent-up demand from the lockdown, but record-low interest rates are likely driving demand as well.
Following a similar course, new listings have climbed as well with all home types seeing month-over-month increases and 20-36% increases over the number of new listings brought to market in July 2019. Most likely, new listings are being driven by vendors who were waiting for lockdown measures to ease somewhat before listing, as this boom in new listings in more typical for early Spring.
HPI Benchmark prices were up across Greater Vancouver in July, making up for the mild decreases in June. Townhomes and detached homes increased 0.9% and condos increased by 0.2%. The benchmark prices for all property types have increased compared to last year as well: 3.6% for townhomes, 4.5% for condos and 4.3% for detached.
Sales to active ratios are consistently advancing deeper into seller’s market territory which could imply continuous price increases provided the current market has some depth to it.
So What Does This Mean For The Development Land Market North Of The Fraser?
Although we are seeing a surge in MLS sales and prices in Greater Vancouver, land transactions are still slower North of the Fraser in comparison to the flurry of deal activity that we are seeing in the Fraser Valley. That being said, some developers are positioning themselves for a V-shaped recovery by tying up wood frame condo and townhouse sites.
Buyers of development land are continuing to be more cautious and are generally being hesitant to post non-refundable deposits without a degree of development certainty from municipalities. Due to this, vendors are going to have to continue allowing longer due diligence and completion timelines to facilitate land transactions.
We are cautiously optimistic heading into the Fall, but it seems as though we are going to need to see sustained momentum and more positive news in the market before many developers have confidence in making a large land purchase North of the Fraser.
Please note: areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.
View the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s entire stats package for July 2020 here.
This representation is based in whole or in part on data generated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy.