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Home sales across Greater Vancouver were down 34 percent by April’s halfway point, the first full month to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were 564 homes sold in Greater Vancouver as of April 15th, according to data published by Kevin Skipworth, Managing Broker at Dexter Realty. This figure is 34 percent lower than the same period in April 2019 and also down 46 percent from the first half of March 2020.

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Skipworth, who regularly distributes mid-month home sales data for the region, noted that new listings in April are also down significantly. As of April 15th, there are 1,105 new homes listed, compared to 2,890 by the same point last year and 2,511 during the same period in March.

Major declines in sales and listings were anticipated by market observers as the effects of the strict social distancing measures and business shutdowns curtailed real estate activity across the country.

In an email sharing the data, Skipworth acknowledged that the numbers look bleak but there is still activity within the Vancouver market, despite the unprecedented upheaval.

“The new listings coming on are in the period since the pandemic broke out and the sales now are mostly transactions written since the middle of March too. There is still a market amidst COVID-19, there are still multiple offers occurring. Even this week and not just on one-bedroom apartments,” wrote Skipworth.

While the situation currently appears dire, the prevailing opinion among economists remains that a rebound is possible in the second half of 2020 and damage may be limited on the pricing side.

“A rebound is expected in the second half of the year as more parts of the economy re-open and demand picks up on low interest rates and pent-up demand,” wrote Central 1 Credit Union Deputy Chief Economist Bryan Yu.

“That said, this will depend on the evolution of the pandemic and how successful government programs are in bridging household incomes through the health crisis. Longer duration of the pandemic and delayed re-openings of the economy could generate permanent damage to the economy as more businesses close and individuals face a longer period of unemployment,” he continued.

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