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

B.C. home sales for the month of June rose 17 per cent year-over-year, according to the BCREA and data from MLS. (via Glacier Media)

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 per cent 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 per cent), the Fraser Valley (30.1 per cent), South Okanagan (25.7 per cent) and Greater Vancouver (19 per cent).

Only two of 12 regions reported unit sale declines: Northern Lights (down 20 per cent, to 28 from 35 sales) and B.C.'s northern region (down 2.2 per cent).

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 per cent), the Fraser Valley (36.8 per cent), Chilliwack (35.6 per cent) and Vancouver Island (27.9 per cent) leading the way.

Total residential sales dollar volume last month reached $6.1 billion, up 27.5 per cent 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 per cent 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 nine per cent 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 per cent. The average price in Victoria rose by $100,000 (a 14.4 per cent gain), and in Greater Vancouver, the average residential price rose by seven per cent to top $1 million.

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