Property sales in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have been surprisingly strong this summer. (The News files)

Home sales strong despite COVID-19 economy

Realtor says prices in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows make it attractive to buyers

It has been a surprisingly hot real estate market in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, as homes sell in larger numbers in summer 2020 than they did during last summer’s pre-pandemic market.

According to statistics released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Market saw increases of about 50 per cent in sales of detached houses and townhomes, and 22 per cent in apartments.

House sales rose from 271 through June, July and August 2019, to 396 combined sales during the same three months this year. All property types sold well, as townhouse sales rose from 146 to 225, and apartments from 109 to 133.

Ralph Telep of Coldwell Banker-West Burn Realty said rising prices elsewhere in the region make Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows more attractive.

“They’re waking up on Maple Ridge,” he said. “Prices are still pretty low here, and it’s a beautiful little community.”

There were 142 houses sold in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows in August, more than any other market in Greater Vancouver, and the median selling price was $930,000.

By comparison, the median price in Coquitlam was $1.3 million, Burnaby $1.56 million, New Westminster $1.2 million, and Port Coquitlam $960,000. The highest was Vancouver West, where the median price was more than $3 million for a detached property.

Telep , who has been in the business for 44 years, said properties on the western borders of Maple Ridge are in high demand, and Pitt Meadows is “as hot as a pistol.”

READ ALSO: B.C. assessed home values to dip 2.5% in 2020

He said the problem with the market is a lack of supply, and the stats reflect that too – listings of houses are down 18 per cent from July to August locally.

Across Metro Vancouver in August, home sales and new listings outpaced the region’s historical averages. The board reports residential home sales in the region totalled 3,047 in August 2020, a 36.6 per cent increase from the 2,231 sales recorded in August 2019.

Last month’s sales were 19.9 per cent above the 10-year August sales average.

“People who put their home buying and selling plans on hold in the spring have been returning to the market throughout the summer,” Colette Gerber, board chair said. “Like everything else in our lives these days, the uncertainty COVID-19 presents makes it challenging to predict what will happen this fall.”

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for August 2020 is 23.8 per cent. Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices go up when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge realtor lauded for life-saving kindness

“Low interest rates and limited overall supply of homes for sale are creating competition in today’s housing market,” Gerber said.

“Your local realtor can help you navigate today’s market and ensure that the latest public health requirements are followed at every step of the process. Above all, safety has to remain our top priority during this pandemic.”

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