VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Home sales in the suburbs are booming, with bidding wars now a regular occurrence, realtors say, while recent data shows how resilient Metro Vancouver property sales have been through the pandemic.
According to the 2020 numbers, the sales were 2.8 per cent below the 10-year average for the Vancouver area. However, the early months of the pandemic saw sales all but stop. This comes despite sales all but stopping in the early months of the pandemic.
Demand is heavily concentrated in the suburbs, with buyers realizing they need more space over the course of the pandemic.
“It’s almost exclusively a bidding market on a lot of the suburban houses. Coquitlam is just gangbusters, like nine to 15 offers on every house. Delta, you’re lucky if you can even find a house to go on tour, let alone make an offer on,” says Keith Roy with RE/MAX Select in Vancouver.
With bidding wars now being commonplace, Roy says buyers eyeing the suburbs are more concerned with how quickly they can see their homes in the city sell.
“The concern we’re hearing from the urban dweller moving to the suburb is, ‘How quickly can I sell? What am I going to miss if I don’t get out of here right away to get on that train to get that house out in Delta, to get that house in Coquitlam?’ ”
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver found home sales were up 53.4 per cent in the final month of 2020 compared to last year, hitting a new record for the month.
Board chair Colette Gerber says the COVID-19 pandemic has been a major cause of the unusual home sales pattern, in what is traditionally the quietest month for the real estate market.
She says there are many people still realizing they can afford to move and they want to and she expects the spring markets to be robust.
“Of course everything is tempered by what’s happening with COVID,” Gerber tells NEWS 1130. “If there happens to be another surge, then we can find ourselves going down a bit for a while.”