The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 11,051 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October 2020, an increase of 43.8 per cent from October 2019. The average MLS® residential price in BC set a record of $812,960, a 12.5 per cent increase from $722,333 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume in August was $8.98 billion, a 61.8 per cent increase over 2019.
“The provincial housing market sustained its blistering pace of activity in October,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “While pent-up demand may be starting to fade, record low-interest rates and a recovering job market are supporting strong sales.”
“A pandemic-driven shift in buyers’ preference for extra space is pushing average prices to record highs as larger value transactions account for a higher share of sales,” added Ogmundson. Prices are also being pushed higher by a lack of inventory. Total provincial active listings continue to trend lower and were close to 14 per cent lower in October 2020 compared to 2019.
Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 29.7 per cent to $58.7 billion, compared with the same period in 2019. Residential unit sales were up 16.3 per cent to 76,140 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 11.5 per cent to $771,085.
If we look at the Okanagan Mainline figures, you will see there has been a dramatic increase in average prices since last October. But before buyers get too despondent, I believe these numbers are slightly 'skewed' by the higher than normal number of sales of higher-end homes.
With inventory down nearly 24% on this time last year, we are likely to continue to see upward pricing pressure.