During the same week one year ago, Vancouver’s resale housing market began to freeze as restrictions were rapidly rolled out to battle the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After recording strong annual gains in the first half of March 2020, the market experienced a 33 percent annual drop in sales during the month’s second half as buyers stayed home.
One year and a remarkable housing recovery later, the situation on the ground today couldn’t be more different.
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According to mid-month resale figures shared this week by Dexter Realty’s Kevin Skipworth, 2,663 homes have already changed hands in the Vancouver region during the first half of March. That mid-month total is higher than all the transactions recorded during the entire month of March 2020.
Unlike this time last year, restrictions have loosened up and realtors are more comfortable working in a virtual-first environment. At the same time, buyers and, increasingly, sellers are confident entering what has become a historically hot market.
Skipworth wrote in a monthly update email that the current pace of transactions puts the market on track to hit 5,400 home sales by the end of the month. If achieved, this sales total would be higher than the total hit in March 2016, the current record-holder for the month.
Adding to the optimism, Skipworth wrote that new listings are also on track to break a single-month record.
“The number of new listings so far in March are on pace to shatter the highest monthly total of new listings we’ve seen in Greater Vancouver. With 4,267 new listings at mid-month, this pace could take us above 8,000 in a month for the first time ever,” Skipworth wrote in the email.
Buyer demand has consistently and significantly outpaced supply since the recovery began last summer. With sales yet again likely to break a record in March, Skipworth believes the influx of listings couldn’t have come at a better time as buyers were becoming exhausted by the fiercely competitive market.
“It would seem the trend to list and sell on the heels of high buyer demand is catching on,” he wrote, while still acknowledging that the total number of homes listed on the market hasn’t risen as substantially since February.