Richmond real estate listings, sales decline due to COVID-19

Real estate sales in Richmond – as with much of the Lower Mainland – dropped sharply in April due to COVID-19, according to the latest monthly report from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

The drop follows on the heels of B.C.’s physical distancing measures, many of which were put in place in mid-March.

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Detached home sales in Richmond dropped by 62.9 per cent last month compared to March, which saw 97 sales. In April, however, there were just 36.

Meanwhile, attached home sales totaled 73 for March, dropping to 37 for April – a change of 49.3 per cent – while apartment sales fell to 64 in April from 165 in March, for a change of 61.2 per cent.

Last month, there were 72 new listings for detached homes, down 47.8 per cent from March’s 138 listings. Attached home listings fell 53.6 per cent from 110 in March to 51 in April.

And apartment listings dropped 57.3 per cent, with 117 listings last month compared to the 274 listings in March, according to the report.

“Predictably, the number of home sales and listings declined in April given the physical distancing measures in place,” said Colette Gerber, REBGV’s president-elect.

In comparison, April 2019 saw 41 detached home sales, 42 attached home sales and 89 apartment sales.

When it comes to listings, there were 251 detached homes listed for sale in April 2019, along with 186 attached home and 273 apartment listings.

That trend is seen across most of Metro Vancouver, according to the REBGV, which saw the lowest total sales for April since 1982.

Metro Vancouver home sales were also 62.7 per cent below the 10-year April sales average.

Across the region, there were 2,313 detached, attached and apartment properties listed last month, a 57.9 per cent decrease compared to the 5,741 homes listed in April 2019.

Detached home sales in Metro Vancouver reached 388, down from the 586 sales recorded in April 2019. Meanwhile, there were 218 attached home sales and 503 apartment sales in the region last month, down from 358 and 885 sales, respectively, in April 2019.

However, prices continue to hold in Richmond.

The benchmark price – a benchmark represents a typical property in each market – of a single-family detached home in the city was $1,530,500 last month – the same as it was in April 2019.

“Home prices have held relatively steady in our region since the COVID-19 situation worsened in March,” said Gerber.

Regionally, the benchmark price of detached homes saw a 2.3 per cent increase from April 2019, and a 2.8 per cent increase for attached homes. The benchmark price for Metro Vancouver apartments rose 2.7 per cent last month compared to April 2019. The benchmark price for all residential properties – detached, attached and apartments – in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,036,000, according to the REBGV, a 2.5 per cent increase over April 2019 and a 0.2 per cent increase over March of this year.

According to the REBGV, the sales-to-active listings ration for April, across the region, is 11.8 per cent. Broken down by property type, the ratio is 10 per cent for detached homes, 14.7 per cent for attached homes and 12.4 per cent for apartments. 

In general, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the sales-to-active listings ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, according to the REBGV, while home prices will often experience upward pressure when that ratio surpasses 20 per cent over several months. 

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