Photo: Mike Benna/Unsplash

After an encouraging first half of the month, signals that Vancouver’s housing market is recovering from the worst effects of the pandemic shutdown continued for the remaining weeks of June.

There were 2,443 home sales in the Vancouver region in June, according to data released last week by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). That’s up 17.6 percent over the total recorded in June 2019, marking the first time since March that home sales in the region increased compared to the same month a year prior.

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Vancouver region home sales in May were down 43.7 percent while April saw a 39.4 percent decline.

June’s promising market performance came as COVID-19 transmission in BC has been effectively contained and the province sits comfortably in phase three of its reopening plan. Meanwhile, real estate industry professionals have continued to adapt to the precautions required to operate in the current environment.

“Much more of the real estate transaction is happening virtually today. Before considering an in-person showing, REALTORS® are helping potential buyers pre-screen homes more thoroughly by taking video tours, reviewing floorplans and an increased number of high-resolution images, as well as often driving through the neighbourhood,” said REBGV Chair Colette Gerber, in a media release.

While the year-over-year sales increase will provide a much-needed boost to market confidence, June 2020’s transactions total was still nearly 22 percent below the 10-year sales average for the month. The Vancouver market spent much of the previous year putting up dismal sales numbers as it adjusted to increased supply and a mismatch between sellers’ and buyers’ price expectations. June 2019 represented the worst sales performance for the month since 2000.

All that is to say, even as the pandemic dealt a blow to transaction volume, the market didn’t exactly have a deep hole to dig itself out of when getting back into sales growth territory.

The Vancouver region’s MLS Home Price Index benchmark price for June was $1,025,300, a 3.5 percent increase over the same period last year and down 0.3 percent from May. The benchmark price of a detached home in the region was $1,464,200, up 3.6 percent from a year before and an increase of 0.5 percent over May. For resale condos, the benchmark price was $680,800, up 3.6 percent from June 2019 and down 0.8 percent from May.

“Home prices have remained steady with minimal fluctuation over the last few months,” Gerber said. “With increasing demand, REALTORS® have begun seeing multiple offers for homes priced competitively for today’s market.”

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