vancouver-condo-market Photo: Sebastian Stephan Thiel/Flickr

Only two new condo developments launched in the Vancouver region from April 1st to the middle of May.

Two hundred new units were brought to market between the two developments, a nearly 75 percent decline compared to units launched during the same month and a half-long period in 2019.

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The new data, released last week by Altus Group through its Condominium Apartment Monitor, sheds more light on the widespread economic disruption seen in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shutdowns initiated to slow the virus’s spread quieted the typically busy spring new home sales season. Since the beginning of the year, 3,000 new condo units have hit the market, down 15 percent from a year prior. According to Altus Group, most of these launches happened before mid-March, when the pandemic first shut down businesses.

With far fewer units launched than an average spring season, new condo sales volume dropped over 50 percent during April and the first half of May.

Altus Group Vice President Matthew Boukall believes that the market will turn a corner going forward as the province’s economy reopens.

“It is anticipated that the number of new project launches will grow as restrictions are lifted and consumers become more active; we will continue to monitor new launches and sales volumes during the back half of the year,” wrote Boukall.

That said, a separate Altus Group report said Vancouver’s new home market was oversupplied after a strong 2019 and there was already evidence that developers were pulling back on home building activities even before the pandemic struck.

This, combined with predictions that immigration to the Vancouver region will take a hit in the coming years as a result of the pandemic, means that the home building industry is likely to remain quieter in the long term than it had been in recent years.

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