First Quarter Review

The first Quarter of 2021 has been a rollercoaster ride. We started off slow in January, still feeling the effects of the pandemic with a timid market. Prices were bolstered by the lack of inventory and the desirability of our growing community. Confidence began building by mid-February, but inventory was slow to respond in River District and nearby areas like Metrotown. We always expect an increase in listings by March, but it always seems like it is not enough.

Most sales in River District for January were pre-sales, with only 9 re-sales. With few listings in February, we saw just 7 re-sales, building pressure for the March spring market. By March, there were 26 re-sales with the number or pre-sales decreasing. 

Hot ticket items for River District have been 1 bedrooms with access to Club Central. Buyers’ priorities have also shifted towards family homes with significant private outdoor space since the pandemic.

The Inside Look

We saw a dramatic market unfold in March throughout the Greater Vancouver Area. For many outside of River District, it was an arduous task for buyers and their agents to compete for the few listings available. There was a significant spike in activity in March where we saw most listings result in bidding wars, some with 20+ offers reminiscent of the 2016 and 2017 markets.

With the most committed consumers quietly buying in January into February and inventory slow to respond, anyone who had been pre-approved for the lowest mortgage rates in Canadian history had to buy in March or else lose their promised 1% rates. This caused a flurry of activity that took many by surprise as people began throwing everything except the kitchen sink into offers.

By the end of March, there was wide-spread frustration with the least committed consumers taking a break and waiting for the April market to bear more fruit.

Pricing Trends

Prices this first quarter of 2021 have been sensational. So much so, it has brought more buyers to the market that were not originally planning on moving. This includes families and first-time buyers looking to take advantage of the pandemic rates and ‘slump’ before the anticipated roaring 20’s ahead.

As a result of the slow and sensitive pandemic market inherited from 2020, we began to see listing prices decrease. This caught the attention of ‘deal’ seekers looking for an affordable sale. Because BC does not publicly publish sales prices for homes, what consumers and market watchers saw was a dramatic decrease in prices with homes not lasting much more than a week on market if that. Meanwhile, we were seeing homes begin to sell in multiple offers and significantly above asking price by the end of February, and frenzied activity throughout March.