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B.C. home sales ‘surge back’ to pre-COVID levels

There were nearly 8,200 residential sales recorded in June 2020 – a 17% increase in sales activity year-over-year.
B.C. home sales for the month of June rose 17% year-over-year, according to the BCREA and data from MLS. Photo: Tri-City News

New B.C. real estate data suggests residential sales normalized last month.

According to the latest monthly report from the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA), there were nearly 8,200 residential sales recorded last month – a 17% increase in sales activity year-over-year.

“Sales around the province surged back to pre-COVID-19 levels in June,” said BCREA chief economist Brendon Ogmundson in a news release.

Unit sales rose the most in Chilliwack (30.2%), the Fraser Valley (30.1%), South Okanagan (25.7%) and Greater Vancouver (19%). Only two of 12 regions reported unit sale declines: Northern Lights (down 20%, to 28 from 35 sales) and B.C.'s northern region (down 2.2%).

The value of residential sales in June rose by double digits year-over-year in all markets except Northern Lights and B.C.'s north, with South Okanagan (55.3%), the Fraser Valley (36.8%), Chilliwack (35.6%) and Vancouver Island (27.9%) leading the way.

Total residential sales dollar volume last month reached $6.1 billion, up 27.5% over June 2019.

“While there are some temporary factors that may have pushed demand forward, we are cautiously optimistic that market activity will remain firm," noted Ogmundson.

While the BCREA says sales activity has normalized, active listings are down nearly 20% year-over-year, with many markets experiencing upward pressure on residential home prices.

The average Multiple Listing Service (MLS) residential home price in B.C. increased 9% to just over $748,000 – a $62,000 increase over the average price recorded last year.

South Okanagan saw the largest average price increase, to $496,000 from $401,500 a year ago – an increase of 23.6%. The average price in Victoria rose by $100,000 (a 14.4% gain), and in Greater Vancouver, the average residential price rose by 7% to top $1 million.

Year-to-date, total residential sales dollar volume is up 0.6% to $24.7 billion, compared with the same period in 2019. Sales are down 8% and the average MLS residential price is up 9.4%.


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