Photo: Chloe Evans / Unsplash

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to significant detached home price drops in several cities in the Vancouver region, according to a recent market report by Roomvu.

The real estate marketing and analytics platform found that median sale prices have fallen for detached homes in Richmond, North Vancouver and Coquitlam in the months after the pandemic struck. Richmond saw the sharpest drop at 10 percent while Coquitlam and North Vancouver saw 9 percent and 7 percent price drops, respectively.

The data analyzes pre-pandemic sale prices between January 1st and March 14th against post-pandemic sales prices, between March 15th and May 27th.

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Burnaby, Surrey, Port Coquitlam and New Westminster all saw little to no change in the median sale price when comparing the pre-March 15th prices to those recorded in the subsequent period.

“There are difficulties when comparing pre- and post-COVID-19 average or median sale prices,” explained Roomvu CEO and Vancouver realtor Sam Mehrbod. “Average or median prices can quickly become skewed based on outliers, while prices require ongoing trends to provide meaningful data.”

The Roomvu report also drew a comparison between median sales prices and BC property value assessments, during the pre- and post-COVID period.

Before the onset of the pandemic, sales prices across Greater Vancouver were pegged at 11.5 percent higher than their assessed values. After March 15th, this dropped to 10.8 above assessed values. For detached homes specifically, properties that sold between 6.6 percent and 15.5 percent above their assessed values prior to the pandemic were reduced to between 6.1 percent and 11.6 percent after March 15th.

Vancouver, Coquitlam, North Vancouver and Port Coquitlam were among the cities that experienced the greatest drops, entering the pandemic period with sale prices 13.5 percent, 15.5 percent, 12.7 percent and 11 percent above assessed values, respectively. Post-pandemic, these numbers declined to 8.8 percent, 11.5 percent, 8.5 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.

In an economic briefing published late last week, Central 1 Credit Union Deputy Chief Economist Bryan Yu said that further home price declines should be expected as the year progresses.

“The economy will be in a much weaker state than pre-pandemic levels through 2020, unemployment will remain elevated, and population growth low,” said Yu. “Low interest rates and relatively stable labour market conditions for higher income earning households will support demand, but we expect further price declines in the five-10 percent range through 2020.”

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