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'A case of the haves and the have-nots': Vancouver home sales and prices jump in July

·2 min read
A real estate for sale sign is pictured in front of a home in Vancouver

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t pushed Metro Vancouver home buyers to the sidelines the way many expected, at least not yet.

Instead, the latest data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) show 3,128 homes were sold in July, a 22.3 per cent increase from the 2,557 sold during the same month last year. Sales were 28 per cent higher than last month, when 2,443 homes changed hands.

Sales were 9.4 per cent above the 10-year July average.

“We're seeing the results today of pent up activity, from both home buyers and sellers, that had been accumulating in our market throughout the year,” said Colette Gerber, REBGV chair, in a release.

“Low interest rates and limited overall supply are also increasing competition across our market.”

The benchmark price for all types of homes is $1,031,400, 4.5 per cent higher than July 2019 and 0.5 per cent higher than last month.

The surge in activity is taking place against the backdrop of a job market with millions still out of work, and an economy with a long way to go before getting back to where it was before the pandemic.

“It boils down to a case of the haves and the have-nots, if you have money during this pandemic, and still have steady employment, you view it as an opportunity to buy, and that's exactly what is happening,” David Hutchinson, Sutton Group West Coast Realty realtor, told Yahoo Finance Canada.

“I am not expecting this trend to continue, this pent-up demand will recede, and listings will accumulate.”

Like Toronto, the transition to working from home is helping to lead to a shift out of condos.

“Some condos in good locations that are still well-priced seem to be struggling, while detached is definitely the hot market — the opposite was true not too long ago, oh how the market shifts,” said Hutchinson.

“Nevertheless, I do get more inquiries into the outlying suburbs’ market — even out to Mission and Naramata — where one can get some acreage and space between the neighbours, and still put some equity in the bank for a rainy day.”

There were 12,083 homes for sale through the MLS system, 15.1 per cent fewer than the same month last year (14,240) but 5.8 per cent more than last month (11,424).

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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