new-single-family-homes-vancouver Photo: James Bombales

New single-family home sales in the Vancouver region posted a 59 percent increase in the second quarter of 2020 and outperformed the condo market’s own sales recovery.

It’s a trend that Altus Group, which released the data last week, says is playing out not just in the Vancouver market, but across the country.

Single-family homes and townhomes have shown more resiliency than the new condo market throughout the pandemic, wrote Altus Group’s Ryan Wyse in a post on the firm’s website.

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Overall, sales data released by Altus Group last week showed the new home market was on a path to recovery with activity picking up in the back half of the second quarter as lockdown measures eased and buyers returned.

At 1,691 sales, total new home transactions in the second quarter were lower than the same period a year ago, but only by about 5 percent.

What’s particularly heartening is total new home sales over the first half of 2020 are higher than last year’s first half. Despite the pandemic’s chilling effect on activity, new home sales ended the first 6 months of the year up 5.3 percent. There had been 3,940 sales across all new home market segments compared to 3,740 in 2019’s first half.

This is illustrative of how weak the market’s performance was in 2019 and of the bounce back underway in early 2020 before the pandemic hit. The Altus Group post noted that two-thirds of the activity seen in the second quarter happened during the mid-May to end of June period.

But even as the region’s new home market ended the second quarter on a high note and resale markets have rebounded across the country through the summer, Altus Group’s Wyse ended his commentary on a cautious note.

“While there were some positive signs of improved activity late in the quarter, there is still much uncertainty in the market,” said Wyse.

“A potential increase in the number of new projects launches in the third quarter could lead to increased sales in the second half of the year, but there are no guarantees that all the delayed launches will go ahead,” he continued.

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