By Patricia Arsenault, Executive Vice President, Research Consulting Services | May 22, 2020

Going into the COVID-19 situation, Vancouver new home sales were on a stronger footing than last year.

Total new home sales in the Vancouver market area had a better start to the year compared to the year prior, based on Altus Group data. The first quarter for a whole was up over Q1 2019 and also Q4 2019. The 2,238 total sales represented the highest total of any quarter since Q4 2018.

Chart showing total new home sales in Vancouver for each period, Q1 2019 vs Q1 2020

However, the relative strength was focused in the first half of the quarter – before the market began to feel the effects of COVID-19 and sale centres transitioned to by-appointment-only or virtual / online sales. Total sales in the second half of the quarter fell below the same period last year, which was due entirely to the condominium apartment segment of the market, as single-family new home sales were up for both the first and second half of the quarter (albeit from very low levels in 2019).

While 14 new Vancouver condo apartment projects launched in Q1, only 2 of these were in March – one of which was in the second half of the month. Many planned launches have been postponed, although sales sites for some previously launched projects are starting to open up again. 

Note that Altus Group tracks the Vancouver new home market on a 45 day cycle with coverage of projects of 20 or more units.

 

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