Pandemic pushes B.C. home sales down but prices still up in April: BCREA

Photo: Frank O'Brien

A total of 3,284 homes were sold in April, according to new data from the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA).

This is a drop of 50.8% compared with April 2019.

BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson said a decline in sales was no surprise.

"We expected to see a sharp drop in sales for April as we confronted the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ogmundson said. “However, buyers and sellers are adapting to a new normal, and activity should pick up as the economy gradually re-opens.”

Despite the decline in unit sales, the average residential sale price, province-wide, increased 7.8% in the 12 months to April. The price reached $737,834, compared with $684,430 a year ago. 

According to the BCREA, the price increase is tied to a decrease in active listings. 

“While home sales were down by more than half compared to this time last year, the supply of homes for sale, which normally rises through the spring, was down close to 10% on a seasonally adjusted basis and down 23.7% year-over-year,” the association said in a press release. 

“That slide in total active listings means that prices remained firm despite the sharp fall in sales.”

1

Year-to-date, sales dollar volume increased 9.6%, to $15.3 billion, compared with the same period in 2019. This is driven by an 11.6% year-over-year increase in prices, as total unit sales in the first four months of 2020 was 1.7% lower than the same period last year.

ecrawford@biv.com