vancouver_new_home_sales Photo: Suzanne Rushton / Unsplash

Even with pandemic-induced shutdowns throwing a wrench into homebuilders’ project launch plans this spring, sales for new construction homes in the Vancouver region were up five percent in the first half of 2020.

New data published recently by Altus Group found, unsurprisingly, that strength in the first two months of the year as well as the back half of the second quarter was responsible for the respectable showing in the region’s new home market.

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There were 3,940 new homes sold in the region between January and the end of June, up from 3,740 homes sold during the same six-month period in 2019. The strength in the first quarter was enough to offset the modest overall sales decline the market experienced in the second quarter.

The new condo segment fared worse than single-family homes. Altus Group reported new condo market activity posted its worst second quarter result since 2009, dropping 30 percent compared to a year ago. Meantime, new single-family home sales jumped 59 percent over 2019 levels.

Altus Group Analytics Manager Ryan Wyse said that single-family homes have been outperforming condo sales in markets across the country since the pandemic recovery began in early summer.

In a blog post accompanying the data release, he went on to caution that expectations for a string of new project launches to lift market activity further in the fall should not be taken as a given.

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