Pandemic Halts Sales Activity in March
British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 6,717 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March 2020, an increase of 17.2 percent from March 2019. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $789,548, a 15.1 percent increase from $685,892 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume in March was $5.3 billion, a 35 percent increase over 2019.
“Provincial housing markets started the month very strong before the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to activity,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “Activity will slow considerably in April as households and the real estate sector implement measures necessary to mitigate the spread of this virus.”
“While we don’t know when this unprecedented period will end, markets will be boosted by pent-up demand and historically low-interest rates when it does,” added Ogmundson. “The ultimate strength of the recovery will depend on how long the economy remains effectively shut down, as well as the efficacy of federal and provincial measures to bridge households through the financial difficulties brought on by the pandemic.”
Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 37.1 percent to $12.9 billion, compared with the same period in 2019. Residential unit sales increased 21.7 percent to 16,866 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 12.6 percent to $763,031.
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BCREA is the professional association for more than 23,000 REALTORS® in BC, focusing on provincial issues that impact real estate. Working with the province’s 11 real estate boards, BCREA provides continuing professional education, advocacy, economic research, and standard forms to help REALTORS® provide value for their clients.
To demonstrate the profession's commitment to improving Quality of Life in BC communities, BCREA supports policies that help ensure economic vitality, provide housing opportunities, preserve the environment, protect property owners and build better communities with good schools and safe neighbourhoods.
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