BC Housing Markets Bounce Back in June

Vancouver, BC – July 14, 2020. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 8,166 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June 2020, an increase of 16.9 per cent from June 2019. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $748,155, a 9.1 per cent increase from $685,968 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume in June was $6.1 billion, a 27.5 per cent increase over 2019.

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“Sales around the province surged back to pre-COVID-19 levels in June,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “While there are some temporary factors that may have pushed demand forward, we are cautiously optimistic that market activity will remain firm.”

Although listings activity has normalized along with sales, active listings are still down close to 20 per cent year-over-year and, as a result, many markets are seeing upward pressure on prices.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 0.6 per cent to $24.7 billion, compared with the same period in 2019. Residential unit sales were down 8 per cent to 32,875 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 9.4 per cent to $751,722.

BC real estate sales ‘surged back’ to pre-COVID-19 levels in June

Following several months of steep sale declines due to COVID-19, there were nearly 8,200 residential sales in BC last month, representing a 17% increase from the same time last year.

According to the British Columbia Real Estate Association, sales rose the most in Chilliwack (30.2%), the Fraser Valley (30.1%), South Okanagan (25.7%) and Greater Vancouver (19%).

In June, the value of residential sales rose year-over-year in nearly all of BC’s markets, with Chilliwack (30.2%), the Fraser Valley (31.1%), South Okanagan (25.7%) and Greater Vancouver (19%) leading the way.

Compared to the same time last year, the South Okanagan has seen the largest average price increase at 23.6%, with the average home price jumping to $496,000 from $401,500.

Similar price jumps were seen in Victoria with a 14.4% gain and in greater Vancouver at 7%.

“Sales around the province surged back to pre-COVID-19 levels in June,” said BCREA chief economist Brendon Ogmundson in a news release.

“While there are some temporary factors that may have pushed demand forward, we are cautiously optimistic that market activity will remain firm,” noted Ogmundson.

Last week, the BCREA announced a new set of safety measures for realtors to practice while conducting open house tours.

Those include wearing masks, minimizing physical contact with the home and using a line up outside the home to maintain physical distancing.

Home prices still climbing

The number of home sales in Central and North Okanagan are moving on an upward trajectory when compared to recent months – but they are nowhere near where they were a year ago, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board reported Tuesday that the number of May sales in its region, which stretches from Peachland to Revelstoke, was 446, up from 299 in April. However, that figure is down 42% from this time last year.

Prices also increased in both the Central and North Okanagan last month.

OMREB’s benchmark price, which represents a dwelling with typical attributes to those traded in the area, increased 4.8% for a single-family home in Central Okanagan (to $685,900) and 3% in North Okanagan (to $487,500).

“While we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, it is encouraging to see that residential sales are moving at an upward trajectory,” OMREB president Kim Heizmann said in a press release. “We are starting to see a return to real estate activity which looks promising for the future. However, we remain cautious about predicting future outcomes as many economic factors will have impacts.

“Virtual tours and alternative technological solutions have ensured that real estate transactions can continue to transpire responsibly.”

There was a 49% increase in home listings across the region when compared to April, but the number of homes on the market is down 16% when compared to last year at this time.

The New Normal: Why You Should Be Live Streaming Your Next Open House

The New Normal: Why You Should Be Live Streaming Your Next Open House

With the COVID-19 outbreak, many  industries were turned upsidedown. Meanwhile, as regulations are developed and implemented to help curb the sickness, businesses have also been forced to rethink how they conduct their daily activities.

This includes the entire field of real estate, and one of its key elements: the Open House.

Thankfully, technology comes to our rescue, and the answer comes in the form of Live Streaming Open Houses.

For those not yet familiar with how it works, here’s how it goes:

  • The agent sets up a time and date that they will be at the showcased property. They will also provide a link for people who wish to view the property.
  • On the scheduled date, the agent will be present at the property… by themselves (or possibly with one assistant). Using their video phone and the internet, they will then begin a live broadcast of themselves doing a tour of the property as one would at a regular open house.
  • On the same date, interested buyers will click on the link that was provided beforehand, in order to view the agent’s live broadcast.
  • During the broadcast, all the viewers can interact with the agent/s as they go through the property. They can ask or direct the agent to show them certain parts of the property, ask specific questions, focus on certain structural details, etc.

If you’re a technophobe, don’t worry. The process may sound complicated and technical, but trust us, it’s actually a lot simpler and more straightforward than it seems.

In fact, if you’ve ever taken a video recording using your phone, and/or you’ve ever had Skype or Zoom call, then congratulations! You’re already halfway there!

Now that you know what it is, here are just some of the key benefits of adopting this new way of conducting an open house during these extraordinary times.

What Are The Benefits Of Live Streaming My Open House?

There are many benefits to live streaming your open house, many of which are still valuable even without the current pandemic.

• Since there won’t be any commute involved, more people will be willing — and able — to take a peek at what you’re selling. Let’s face it, there are just simply days when the prospect of having to get dressed, spend money on commute or gas, and show up somewhere, is completely unappetizing. However, with a live streamed open house, clients won’t have to worry about any of that, as they can now participate from the comfort of their own homes.

No need to worry about gas! Or getting lost on the way to the open house! Or finding some place to park! Or bad weather! All they’ll really need to do is get on their device, grab a drink, and tune in to your live stream.

• Being able to host an almost unlimited number of prospects at each open house. Instead of just having ten or thirty people attend your open house, can you imagine having dozens, hundreds, or even THOUSANDS of people checking out your property tour? This is entirely possible with live streaming!

The only thing that will limit you at this point, will most likely be how much time you’re willing to spend live streaming, and/or your ability to handle comments from everyone all at once (which is why we recommend getting an assistant).

• Sellers will thank you for it. Being able to host thousands of prospects at a time is great. But what’s even better is that you can do this without worrying that the healthy foot traffic will damage the beautiful floors you’re trying to show off.

• Even buyers overseas can join in! Since having to be physically at the address is no longer a requirement for them, prospects from other countries can also join your open house. This creates opportunities for you to market to international buyers, as well as citizens who are currently out of the country.

• Live streaming is super cost-effective. In fact, it’s FREE on a lot of platforms, including the big social media sites, Facebook, Instagram, and many others.

• It’s savvy. Besides being able to help keep everyone safe from infection, hosting live stream open houses also shows that you’re adapting to the current world situation. As a bonus, this modern approach is also attractive to the millennial generation of home buyers.

These are just a few of the many benefits of conducting open houses over live streaming. In fact, to help out our clients, we’ve recently rolled out a function that makes it easier for agents to announce their upcoming live streams! You can check it out by clicking here.