2020 turned out to be a year that no one could have predicted, and that certainly rings true for Vancouver’s real estate industry.
When the clock struck 12:00 am on January 1st, 2020, we had no idea of the impact COVID-19 would have on our local economy.
We first felt the impact of the pandemic on local Chinese New Year celebrations, back in January. In real estate, Chinese New Year is always an occasion to be celebrated at local presentation centres as Vancouver’s Chinese community plays such a major role in fueling the local market. When those events were cancelled, to curb the spread of the virus, that was the first time we have seen a naturally occurring external factor, such as a virus, impact our local real estate market.
As we continued into Spring, protocols were put in place to ensure safety measures were implemented at presentation centres and open houses. And on March 14th, shock and uncertainty arrived in Metro Vancouver’s real estate market as the region went into lockdown. This forced project delays or cancellations while activity ceased for both buyers and sellers. Many stakeholders took a step back to wait and see how the next few months would unfold.
As we waited for the situation to normalize, one thing became clear: Vancouver and British Columbia were handling the pandemic better than most jurisdictions around the world. The New York Times even featured B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry for the outstanding work she and her team had done to flatten our curve.
Vancouver was put on the global map once again as one of the best places in the world to live. As the situation normalized, so did our real estate market. Activity returned in the summer — and September and October saw record-breaking months for both the pre-sale and re-sale markets. Part of this can be attributed to pent-up buyer demand from previous months, but part of this activity further affirmed Vancouver and British Columbia as the best places to live, work, and raise a family.
As we navigate our second wave of COVID-19, and see our daily case numbers continue to rise, a small level of uncertainty has returned to our local economy. However, seeing this pandemic through the first wave there is no denying that an increased value has been placed on Vancouver’s real estate market, a sense of place, and the importance of feeling secure in where you choose to call home.
By Cameron McNeill
Source: NextHome Magazine