East Van Real Estate Update for April 2020

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So we’re into April now and a few weeks into our Stay at Home” measure. This measure started about halfway into March, so the month of March tells two different stories, so April’s numbers are going to be a much more realistic measure of the change. As per the Real Estate Board, the first half of the month were “the busiest days of the year for our region with heightened demand and multiple offers becoming more common” and boy was that the truth. Anything good was getting multiple offers and a lot of Buyers were excited about the additional influx of inventory we were expecting to see in the Spring. Interest rates were good and Buyer confidence was back after a slow 2018-2019. This allowed Sellers to upgrade to a bigger home and produced a lot of activity and excitement.

As the province forced restaurants and bars to close, and asked anyone who could work from home to do so, the number of real estate transactions dropped quickly. There were still some people who needed to buy or sell and they continued on their quest, and I expect we’ll see more of that activity in the next few weeks as people have had time to consider their situation and  needs. I would imagine that anyone who has their home listed for sale right now is pretty keen to sell and with an expected recession, there are going to be opportunities for Buyers to get into the market if they have retained their job and didn’t experience an unfortunate hit to their financial situation.
The realtors who are working are ensuring people are only viewing if they aren’t showing any symptoms, and are asking people to wash their hands before the viewing, using protective gear and cleaning units before and after all showings. Many realtors are also asking all parties involved in the showing to sign a waiver indicating that everyone is following proper procedure themselves, and are waiving liability in case anyone gets sick.
Mortgage interest rates have dropped (again!) and are expected to stay low for awhile. I’m on a variable rate mortgage and as of this week my rate dropped to an insane 1.5% (thankfully that results in some much appreciated monthly savings, though rates will increase again in the future). A lot of Buyers are taking this opportunity to defer their mortgage or re-finance with these low rates as well, so check in with your mortgage broker for more information. As always, don’t hesitate to ask me if you need a referral to a great broker.
Onto the stats. 
The stats below are for the entire month of March, and can’t be split up into says or weeks, so it’s hard to see the difference this month. April’s numbers will be more interesting as that will likely be a full month indicating the impact on the market. The HPI Price remained fairly steady this past month though it did increase for detached houses, which was one of the most active markets before the pandemic. We saw a drop in inventory this month (as opposed to a big increase that is common in March) and a slight increase in sales.

East Vancouver Real Estate Stats for April 2020

HPI Price for East Vancouver

Median Percentage of Original Price for East Vancouver

New Listings for East Vancouver

Total Inventory for East Vancouver

Total Sales for East Vancouver

Sales to Active Ratio for East Vancouver

Median Days on Market for East Vancouver

I have been spending a lot of my time researching economic cycles, recession and the Vancouver market over the last few decades in an effort to be prepared and knowledgeable in analyzing what we’re experiencing now. We just came out of a slow market in 2018-2019 so the memories of a slow market and how to attack it are still fresh. I had a lot of clients waiting for the market to drop during the slow market, only to miss the boat and end up in competing offer situations. This sentence remains true: “How do you know we’ve hit the bottom of the market? Prices have increased”. The overall HPI Price in Vancouver is still slightly down from the high we saw in 2018 before the recent slow down started, and at this point they won’t be increasing until we’re on the other side of this pandemic. When the market is slow, you have to be an active Buyer trying to negotiate with Sellers in order to find the deals. And in the excitement of finding a deal, don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re trying to find the right home. Good properties in good buildings in good locations will hold their value and will be a better option for you in the long term and will always be an easier sell in the future.

If you’d like to follow the ups and downs in the market, I can set you up on a Custom Real Estate Search. Contact me to get that started: [email protected] or 778-387-7371.

Sending you love and happiness during this strange time!