A FASCINATING INSIGHT INTO WHY THE REAL ESTATE MARKET HIT ALL TIME HIGHS DURING A PANDEMIC

On the heels of the busiest, most unexpected December in our Board’s history and half a year of the market out-performing all expectations during COVID-19, we turned to one of the most in-demand, economists in our province for insight for you to share with your clients.

We were fortunate to get exclusive, in-depth market intelligence – specific to our Fraser Valley region – from BCREA’s Brendon Ogmundson, who as you can imagine is currently busier than a snow-making machine at local mountains due to 2020’s astounding market numbers.

He details: What happened in Fraser Valley’s market last year, and answers the million-dollar question, can it sustain in 2021?

This is part one of two with the second installment coming in next week’s NewsReal. First, we look back at a year like no other and next week, we look at what’s ahead.

FVREB Communications in conversation with Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Chief Economist:

Q: How would you describe Fraser Valley’s real estate market in 2020? Walk us through what happened starting from what looked like a decent start of the year…?

After two years of demand being stifled by various government policies – principally the B-20 stress test – and new taxes on housing, the Fraser Valley market was set to continue to recover and record an average, typical year. However, as members know, that return to normal was swiftly upended by a worldwide pandemic that threw a blanket of uncertainty over the entire global economy.

With the industry and society in lockdown during the spring months, the housing market slowed dramatically. Sales in the early spring fell to unprecedented lows and it was anticipated that sales would remain below normal through the summer months and possibly beyond. No one knew.

Then the unexpected happened.  Home sales in the Fraser Valley began to climb in the early summer, eventually setting or nearly setting monthly sales records through the fall and winter.

By year’s end, in the midst of a global pandemic, with BC facing a jump in the unemployment rate to a 30-year high, with borders closed, and with immigration halted, sales in the Fraser Valley finished the year up over 28 per cent while benchmark home prices were up over 13 per cent.

“The housing market in 2020 was nothing short of remarkable.”

Q: No one knows BC’s economy and the housing market like you, how unusual was this post-lockdown response?

The performance of the housing market in 2020 was nothing short of remarkable. The COVID-19 recession battered many sectors of BC’s economy, but looking at the housing market, it would be difficult to tell that there was a recession at all.

In a typical recession, housing sales decline as job losses and heightened uncertainty prompt potential buyers to pull back from the market. At the same time, the supply of listings accumulates as some households are forced to sell due to rising unemployment and falling incomes. The COVID-19 recession, however, has been anything but typical. Instead, this recession has seen a remarkably swift rebound in home sales and prices, not only to pre-COVID-19 levels but to historic highs.

Hindsight is indeed 2020 when it comes to 2020

Q: Did the rebound surprise even you?

A: The speed and strength of the recovery was absolutely surprising, but with the benefit of hindsight we can see clear factors that propelled the market forward.

First, the real estate industry did an excellent job in ensuring that transactions could continue without undue risk to the public. Secondly, the impact of the COVID-19 recession on the provincial labour market was not equal across sectors. Most job losses afflicted low wage sectors of the economy, like front-line service sector jobs, while employment in above-average wage sectors that tend to drive the ownership market has risen about 5 per cent above pre-COVID-19 levels.

Most importantly, a swift and overwhelming policy reponse from the Bank of Canada pushed mortgage rates to new record lows.  All of those factors, along with a surge of pent-up demand after the initial crisis phase of the pandemic, meant that demand for housing returned with vigour.

Homes became all things to all people all the time

Q: We saw some specific home sale trends in the Fraser Valley due to COVID-19 – can you delve into those more?  

A: There’s no question COVID-19 altered the needs of BC families as homes suddenly became a workplace, a school, an entertainment centre, and a refuge.  We’ve seen a pronounced shift towards demand for larger homes and for those working from home, a commute becomes less relevant.

The extra space afforded by a single-family detached home that fulfills those needs, along with record-low borrowing costs, resulted in the sales numbers we’ve seen. In the Fraser Valley, sales of detached homes almost doubled in December, rose over 40 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019 and approached 50 per cent of total sales for the first time since 2017. So, it’s no surprise that prices for detached homes closed the year up with double-digit increases.

Sales of townhouses, a close substitute for single-detached, were up over 30 per cent in 2020, with more modest price gains of around 5 per cent year over year.

  1. And how about apartments? How did Fraser Valley condos fare in a pandemic year?

A: Apartments began the year with challenges due to strata insurance, and as an investment vehicle or entry-level home for first-time buyers, apartments were clearly held back by the pandemic’s impact on younger workers and renters. Still, even with those challenges, apartment sales across the Fraser Valley finished the year higher and prices appreciated close to 5 per cent.

In terms of the condo sector as a whole, as vaccinations progress, the economy heals, and borders open to tourism and immigration, we anticipate demand for apartments will post a strong recovery in 2021.

Thank you, Brendon! That wraps up the first part of our two-part series on Fraser Valley’s real estate market in 2020 and 2021. Don’t miss part two next week, when Brendon Ogmundson, Senior Economist, BCREA, forecasts what’s in store for hopefully a pandemic-recovery year.

For more market intel, head to www.bcrea.bc.ca and keep tabs on their COVID-19 Reopening Dashboard.

Source: FVREB Communications

 


CHECK OUT THE NOVEMBER SNAPSTATS FOR THE FRASER VALLEY

November was another record breaking month for sales in the Fraser Valley it is still a SELLERS MARKET. Many homes are selling for over list price and in multiple offers.

Check out the SnapStats video for details.

 

Call Garry Voigt 604 789 2140 or email info@garryvoigt.com for more information on the current market.

 

 


CHECK OUT THE LATEST SNAPSTATS VIDEO FOR THE FRASER VALLEY

Check out the latest SnapStats for the Fraser Valley. After the affects of the Covid19 pandemic bought things to a halt in March and April, we started to slowly see a recover through May with a huge surge of market activity in June! Sales in June 2020 were up 115% over May 2020. The latest SnapStats indicate that we are in a sellers market** and we are once again seeing multiple offers and listings being sold within days of hitting the market.

For more information on the current Real Estate market, call or email Garry Voigt 604 789 2140 or info@garryvoigt.com.

**The accuracy and completeness of the information is not guaranteed. In providing this information SnapStats® or Garry Voigt do not assume any responsibility or liability. More info at snap-stats.com .

 


MORE THAN 10,000 PEOPLE SIGN A PETITION TO KEEP LANGLEY’S DRIVE IN THEATRE OPEN

More than 10,500 people have now signed an online petition asking the health authority to allow the Langley drive-in theatre to continue after it had it’s allowable capacity cut from 200 to only 50 vehicles.

CLICK HERE to sign the online petition.

There is some confusion as to whether the movie theatre is designated as a ‘drive in event’ (which has a maximum capacity of 50 vehicles) or a ‘drive in theatre’. The theatre previously hosted 200 vehicles with a distance of 20 feet apart. The health authority are also claiming that the theatre’s take out food license is not valid even though it was used all through phase 1 of the pandemic.

To read more, check out the article in the LANGLEY TIMES

 


PLEASE HELP US HELP OUR COMMUNITY AT OUR FOOD DRIVE FOR THE LANGLEY FOOD BANK

See the video below.

Help us help the community during this tough time. Please watch the video featuring Jim from the Langley Food Bank. Please share this post and donate if you can during this time. Let’s rally together as a community, to help those in our community!

If you are able to make a cash donation it would be extremely appreciated by the Langley Food Bank. We have made it easy to donate and you will receive a Charitable Tax Receipt. The money will be used to purchase items that are most in need:

https://www.canadahelps.org/…/p…/help-the-langley-food-bank/

Food Drive: We will be at Royal LePage Wolstencroft Realty parking lot (19664 64 Avenue, Langley) from 12-2pm Sat/Sun May 2/3 & Sat/Sun May 9/10 facilitating drop offs from a safe distance.

We are also offering to pick up any donations form the Langley or Cloverdale area. Please email Donna at admin@garryvoigt.com or call/text her at 604-551-9924 if you can not make it to the drop off times.

Popular items in need include: Canned Meats and Fish, Canned Fruits and Vegetables, Sandwich Spreads (jam, peanut butter), Canned Stews, Rice and Pasta, Personal Care Products, Baby Food, Formula, and Cereal & Diapers (especially larger sizes)

During this tough time, people have to do whatever it takes to make ends meet, on top of their high demand, the food bank is seeing a huge influx of new faces and families struggling to keep up. Whether people have lost their job, seen a decrease in income, or just going through a tough time. This could be your neighbour, friend, family member, co-worker or even your grandparent. Let’s come together as a community to help our neighbours get through this tough time. CASH donations are most valuable to the Food Bank and it is easy to donate online. If you are fortunate enough to not be severely impacted by this pandemic, we are asking for your help and donation, every dollar and donation counts. Thank you!!


Check out the March 2020 SnapStats for the Fraser Valley.

The typical ‘Spring Market’ made a great start in March but the need for social distancing meant we had to make some big changes on how we do business and that was bound to have an impact on sales. Take a look at the SnapStats Video for the Fraser Valley – March 2020.

For more information on how we have adapted our business and the current market, call or email Garry Voigt – 604 789 2140, info@garryvoigt.com.

 


FOR SALE – CLOVERDALE – 6 BED – 5 BATH HOME WITH 2 BED MORTGAGE HELPER

5898 168 Street – Located in beautiful Richardson Ridge in Cloverdale, this semi- custom family home offers a fantastic layout, featuring 6 bedrooms & 5 bathrooms including a 2 bed main floor mortgage helper! Main floor features elegant cherry oak hardwood floors & over height ceilings. Kitchen boats updated LG stainless steel appliances plus eating nook. Upstairs has open walkways with railings for a light, spacious feel. Four bedrooms, 2 with ensuite & 2 with Jack& Jill bath. Meticulous front yard appeal with decorative landscaping curbing. The huge 28’ x 42 back patio has 6‘ 6 high custom aluminum fencing for max privacy & low maintenance. Includes 21 x 12 covered area. Rear lane parking for 8 or RV parking. Roof replaced in 2019! Just a 5 min walk to Surrey Centre Elementary & Catchment for .

Call Garry Voigt for more info 604 789 2140 or email info@garryvoigt.com


CHECK OUT THE LATEST SNAPSTATS FOR THE FRASER VALLEY FOR FEBRUARY 2020

Check out the latest SnapStats for the Fraser Valley for February 2020. Sales are up and there has been a slight increase in sales prices indicating that we are in a ‘Sellers Market’. We are once again seeing multiple offer situations not only in condos and townhomes but also single family homes. Inventory is low and there are a lot of buyers out there!!

Contact Garry Voigt today for more information 604 789 2140 or info@garryvoigt.com

 

This report data was captured on March 2, 2020 from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board MLS® . Refer to our YTD reports for sustained periods of the Sales Ratio % . The accuracy and completeness of the information is not guaranteed. In providing this information SnapStats® or Garry Voigt do not assume any responsibility or liability. More info at snap-stats.com .


SOLD – JUST 2 DAYS ON THE MARKET – 2 BED – 2 BATH TOWNHOUSE – LANGLEY

31 5388 201a Street. SOLD in just 2 days! The market is hot, inventory is low and there are lots of buyers out there. There has never been a better time to list your home!! If you want to get the conversation started and learn about we can help you get top dollar for your home call Garry Voigt today 604 789 2140!

 


JUST LISTED – BURNABY – 2 BED – 2 BATH CONDO – WITH SPECTACULAR VIEWS

1003 2225 Holdom Avenue. Welcome to LEGACY by the very reputable BOSA. Corner, southwest unit with spectacular views of the city, mountains and Mt. Baker. Very OPEN floor plan with floor to ceiling windows all around for an abundance of natural light. This unit features 2 bedroom plus den, 9 foot ceilings, large 160 sq ft balcony to fit in house size patio furniture. Recently painted, open kitchen with Granite counter tops in both the kitchen and bath rooms. Comes with 2 side by side parking, 1 locker, 1 bike storage. 6000 sq ft rec facility including fully equipped exercise room, spa, steam room and sauna and lounge. Located next to Holdom Skytrain Station. Pets allowed (one cat or one dog). Rentals allowed.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL INFO