Vancouver housing analysts disagree about overall impact of COVID-19

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The same week B.C.’s finance minister said housing sales dropped a whopping 45 per cent because of the pandemic, some real estate watchers say the situation isn’t so bad, but others are convinced it will take several months for the Metro Vancouver market to rebound.

Carole James says prices fell four per cent between February and May, but Michael Ferreira who is the managing principal of Urban Analytics (which tracks data for developers) says prices are already coming back up.

“We may have weathered the storm pretty well and may not see much change in terms of pricing and given what’s happening in the new home market, a lack of new supply over the last two years could be seeing a different story in two years as far as upward pressure on pricing again.”

He says there’s no doubt the real estate sector has suffered during the pandemic, but it could have been worse.

“You would have expected with COVID that prices would have dropped, but we saw supply drop right off, demand get sustained –especially in May and June. Without that supply there, create situations where you have multiple offers again and puts that upward pressure on pricing.”

However, Dane Eitel with Eitel Insights predicts prices will continue to drop until at least next year.

“The truth is the inventory is rising. The condo market had 2800 brand new, active listings in the month of June. That was the highest month since 2012. There’s not a pent up need to buy, but there is a pent up need to sell.”

He adds sales in May were the worst they’ve been in 15 years with only 325 more detached homes and 450 extra condos sold in June.


“The inventory in the detached market grew more than 700 and the condo market grew over a thousand from the previous month, so you tell me where is the pent up demand?”

Eitel tells NEWS 1130 his research shows there’s more inventory now than there was eight years ago, so it could take several more months for prices to start climbing again.

“Most markets in detached properties will be in 2021, the condo market will likely be in 2022, so we will eventually be positive about this market, but as it currently sits, it’s very difficult to be an optimist, unless you’re a real estate activist. You’re not really acting as an analyst.”

Ferreira insists the situation has significantly improved since the last week of May when the lockdown was lifted.

“We certainly saw an uptick in sales. Even though it’s lower than the ten year average, we were still significantly higher than we were last year, as far as sales go.”

Ferreira also tells NEWS 1130 some owners of short-term rental properties may not be able to…

Read MoreVancouver housing analysts disagree about overall impact of COVID-19

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