vancouver-home-sales-april Photo: James Bombales

Vancouver region homebuyers scooped up 2,402 properties in the first half of April, a strong figure especially when set against the previous year’s locked down market.

But when compared to the record-breaking sales pace achieved in March, this month’s performance so far could be seen as an early signal of a slowdown after a prolonged period of exceptionally high activity.

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Dexter Realty broker Kevin Skipworth published the Vancouver region mid-month housing market numbers this week with email commentary noting that “while the beat carries on, the tune is a little different this month.”

“Perhaps the volume has come down a little on Greater Vancouver’s real estate market,” Skipworth wrote.

“Given marginal increases in interest rates, significant increases in COVID-19 cases and more restrictions imposed, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see attention drawn away from how high to offer while in competition for a home,” he added.

The Vancouver market shattered a sales record in March, with over 5,700 transactions in a single month. Skipworth wrote that April will need “a strong push” to exceed 5,000 sales for the month, but it still could be a record-breaking performance even if transactions don’t hit that mark.

The slight slowdown in the pace of sales in the first half of April allowed listings to make some headway in catching up to buyer demand. New listings are on track to exceed 8,000 for a second consecutive month while active listings were up nearly nine percent on a monthly basis.

After months of fierce competition and soaring prices, the uptick in supply will be a welcome change for bidding war-weary homebuyers.

That said, Skipworth believes the increase in listings could boost sales while potential changes to the federal mortgage stress test may push more buyers into the market ahead of June 1st, the date that the new rules would take effect.

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