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Metro Vancouver homes sales tail off in second half of March: Real estate board

Vancouver Sun logo Vancouver Sun 2020-04-02 Tiffany Crawford
a house with a lawn in front of a building: Home sales in Metro Vancouver were steady for the first two weeks, but then dropped off as B.C. declared an emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic. © Files Home sales in Metro Vancouver were steady for the first two weeks, but then dropped off as B.C. declared an emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Home sales in Metro Vancouver were steady at the beginning of March but dropped off in the last couple of weeks amid COVID-19 pandemic fears, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

The board said in a report Thursday that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,524 in March, a 46.1-per-cent increase from the 1,727 sales recorded in March 2019, and a 17.4-per-cent increase from the 2,150 homes sold in February 2020.

Real estate board president Ashley Smith said the first two weeks of the month this year were the busiest days of the year, with heightened demand and multiple offers becoming more common.

“Like other aspects of our lives, this changed as concerns over the COVID-19 situation in our province grew,” Smith said in a statement Thursday.

Daily residential sales on the region’s MLS were 138 on average in the first 10 business days of the month but declined to 93 sales in the last 10 days.

“Many of the sales recorded in March were in process before the provincial government declared a state of emergency. We’ll need more time to pass to fully understand the impact that the pandemic is having on the housing market,” Smith said.

There were 4,436 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale last month, a 10.4-per-cent decrease compared with February, the report said.

Realtors were on the province’s list of essential services last week, though Smith noted that many people have “understandably chosen” to put their home-buying or selling plans on hold for now.

The composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro is currently $1,033,700. This represents a 2.1-per-cent increase over March 2019, and a 1.3-per-cent increase compared with February 2020, according to the board.

The board’s report said the benchmark price for detached properties in Metro is $1,450,700, while it’s $687,000 for an apartment and $791,800 for a townhouse.

ticrawford@postmedia.com

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