A scorching October for the B.C. real estate market

A scorching October for the B.C. real estate market

A scorching October for the B.C. real estate market

According to the British Columbia Real Estate Association, the province’s home sales activity maintained a blistering pace in October, the fourth consecutive month of 10,000-plus sales.

October’s 11,051 total sales represented a 43.8% annual increase, said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. Total active inventory experienced a 14% year-over-year decline, falling to 31,601 properties at month’s end.

“Very tight market conditions and a pandemic-driven shift in buyers’ preferences towards extra space pushed the provincial average home price to a record high of $812,000, up 12.5% year over year,” Ogmundson said.

Greater Vancouver
Headlining the increase was the 29% annual growth in residential sales registered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The activity was only slightly elevated compared to September, but was 34.7% higher than the 10-year average for October.

The number of homes currently listed for sale in Metro Vancouver went up by 5.2% monthly and 1.5% annually to 12,416 properties. The benchmark housing price stood at $1,045,100, 0.4% higher than September and 6% above the level seen in October 2019.

“With more days and evenings spent at home this year, people are re-thinking their housing situation,” said Colette Gerber, chair of the REBGV. “With demand on the rise, homes priced right for today’s market are receiving attention and, at times, garnering multiple offers.”

Vancouver Island
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board registered 1,066 home sales last month, compared to 721 in October 2019. Active listings of single-detached homes fell from 909 in September to 733 in October. Condo and row/townhouse active listings also dropped 14% and 3%, respectively, on a monthly basis.

“Demand in the VIREB area continues to be high, but there just aren’t enough homes to satisfy it,” said board president Kevin Reid. “We don’t know if it’s a long-term trend, but we have noticed that some of the demand includes buyers who are advancing their retirement plans while others are downsizing and reducing their debt load.”

The single-detached benchmark price rose by 3% annually to $536,500. During the same period, apartment values grew 3% to reach $304,200 and the benchmark price for townhouses grew by 9% to hit $438,200.

The provincial capital had an explosive October in which sales activity spiked by 59.9% year-over-year. The condo sector, where sales increased by 70.8% compared to a year before, was especially active, although the single-family home market, which enjoyed a 53.1% upswing in sales, was no slouch. Overall inventory decreased by 19.7% versus October 2019.

“Sales for October broke the record for the month and inventory continues to be snapped up quickly,” said Sandi-Jo Ayers, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board. “Due to this high demand, low supply environment, we are seeing many multiple offer situations. Condos and single family homes both continue to be popular choices for buyers.”

The benchmark value for a single-family home in Victoria’s core rose 2.3% to $879,600. The benchmark price for condos in the city, $512,300, remained surprisingly flat.

Fraser Valley
Similar to the provincial readings, the Fraser Valley saw its fourth consecutive month of record-breaking sales and new listings levels. According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, sales swelled by 48.9% annually in October. New listings grew by 29.3% during the same timeframe.

The benchmark price for a single-family detached home in the region increased by 9.9% annually to $1.046 million. Townhome values grew by 5% year-over-year to reach $569,200, while apartments saw a 4.2% annual increase to $434,600.

“The situation is unprecedented,” said Chris Shields, president of the FVREB. “We are in the middle of a pandemic and in many of our communities we are seeing a strong seller’s market for townhomes and single-family homes priced correctly.”

Shields explained that the current supply of detached homes in Langley would sell in 1.4 months if no new listings became available.

“And for Mission townhomes,” he said, “we have zero months of inventory.”