Real (Estate) Talk with Ryan Berlin - September 2020
The rennie review is produced each month by rennie intelligence, which includes the latest real estate data for Vancouver Region's housing market.

Active buyers generate the most August sales in a decade

Through the first eight months of 2020, the region’s total sales count is now 12% higher than in the same period of 2019, with the relative demand for detached homes and townhomes surging. For example, between January and August 2020, detached sales were up by 19% compared to the same period last year, with townhome sales up 16%; in comparison, condo sales were 3% higher. 

Whether or not this is simply a function of pent-up demand, or is a reflection of changing housing needs and/or preferences in response to the pandemic that began to materially impact the Vancouver Region in March is an interesting question to consider, along with others: are buyers seeking more space for themselves and their families as the plan to not only live but increasingly work in their homes? Are buyers seeking more storage space? More space to distantly-socialize (with extended family and friends)? And to the extent that these decisions are the driving force behind the shift in the composition of homes sales, is it a permanent shift or short-term adjustment within the marketplace? On the latter point only time will tell, though it is likely that in the longer-run more historically-typical purchasing patterns will re-establish themselves.   

Sustained buying activity has continued to support prices, which are higher by 9% for townhomes, 4% for condos, and 2% for detached homes (on average) since February, right before the pandemic began.    

As we enter the year’s final months it will be the competing effects of continued job recovery, low interest rates, and pent-up demand on the one hand, and the potential for an expansion of available housing supply (as the mortgage deferral window begins closing this month) on the other hand, that will dictate the trajectory of prices as we turn the corner into 2021. 

Our rennie intelligence team comprises our in-house demographer, senior economist, and market analysts. Together, they empower individuals, organizations, and institutions with data-driven market insight and analysis. Experts in urban land economics, community planning, shifting demographics, and real estate trends, their strategic research supports a comprehensive advisory service offering and forms the basis of frequent reports and public presentations. Their thoughtful and objective approach truly embodies the core values of rennie.

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