BC housing sales to abruptly slow this month – BCREA

Strict stay-at-home policies will drag down BC’s April market activity by as much as 40%

BC housing sales to abruptly slow this month – BCREA

Activity in British Columbia’s housing sector will crater this April with a 30% to 40% annual decline, and will remain muted through the summer, according to the province’s top real estate professional organization.

The latest report from the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) also projected that following a 4% decline during the first quarter, the Canadian economy will plunge 21% annually by the end of Q2.

BCREA said that the downturn might end up being shorter than other major recessions, but the trajectory will depend heavily on several major factors.

“The longer the duration, the more likely that jobs do not return, businesses fail, and the recovery is much slower,” BCREA said.

In a separate prediction, Royal Bank of Canada Senior Economist Robert Hogue said that Vancouver – and fellow traditional high performer Toronto – might suffer significant market slowdown starting this month.

“Sellers in this kind of turbulent environment have decided to wait it out, or maybe they have changed their minds, because they might not get the full value of their property under these conditions,” Hogue said. “Our assumption is that the economy starts to open up again sometime in June. Prices are probably going to stay relatively flat in most cases. If lockdown measures and the recession last longer than expected, downward pressure on prices [is] going to build up across the board.”