New Normal Real Estate Sales During The COVID Pandemic On The Sunshine Coast

I know everyone has been wondering what the sales statistics might be like six weeks into the COVID – 19 Pandemic.  Well, here we are, and it’s not all bad. Let’s breakdown what happened over April for real estate sales on the Sunshine Coast BC.


Detached sales were the bright spot again last month with a total dollar volume down only 2% to $20,500,000 and unit sales down 10% to 26.  Total available listings were down significantly by 28% to 273 homes for sale, meaning the sales success ratio is 9.5% (total sales divided by total inventory), putting the market in the buyer’s hands. Usually, we say the market is in buyer’s hands with a less than 10% sales success ratio, and it is considered a balanced market at 10 – 15% and a seller’s market with sales over 15% of available inventory.)


Year to date, we are dead even with 2019 for dollar volume at $88,700,000.  The median price for a detached home on the Sunshine Coast in April was $627,5000. The most expensive home to sell last month was a waterfront in Gibsons that sold for $3,000,000 (on a $3,999,000 asking price).  The least expensive home to sell last month was mobile on land in Sechelt for $420,000.


Condo and Townhome sales fared much worse last month. Total dollar volume was down 83% to $1,850,000, and unit sales were down the same percentage to 3 units sold. Total available listings were up by 20% to 111.  This means our sales success ratio is 2.7% putting the attached market firmly in the buyer’s hands. Needless to say, this last month drives the year to date numbers down.


With that in mind, year to date, dollar volume is down 43% to $16,900,000, and unit sales are down 33% to 34 units sold this year. The median price for a condo or townhome last month was $394,000. The most expensive condo to sell last month was a presale penthouse unit at The Cote (an exclusive 4 – 6 unit building slated for S Fletcher Rd in Gibsons), bought for $1,375,000.  The least expensive condo to sell was a two-bedroom unit in Sechelt for $350,000.


Land only sales for last month was the first time I have seen zero/0 sales occur.  Presently there are 223 available land only units…this is up from last year by 8%.


Year to date land only dollar volume is down 36% to $6,300,000.  Unit sales are down 32% to 17 units sold, and the average price for land-only in 2020 has been $370,000.


I am happily surprised that during an unprecedented pandemic, detached home sales remain robust.  I think this can tell us something about our attitudes toward land ownership, actually having dirt and a home, compared to a strata unit (and no “dirt” per se).  Add the extremely low interest rates, and we should see this segment of the market remain strong throughout the remainder of the pandemic.


The lack of sales in the attached home segment of the market is surprising.  Stay tuned next month to see if this will continue or we will see some more robust sales volume over May.


Zero sales in the land-only segment of the market is not really a surprise.  This segment is traditionally much lower in sales volume than real estate with homes.  I would imagine the idea of building under the present circumstances has many land only buyers spooked.  That said, we know several reputable builders continuing to work during this time.  Reach out if you’d like to know who!


It’s been an interesting month.  If you want more stats, reach out to your realtor.  If you would like market intelligence applied to your situation, then call Russ or Terri!