Monthly rise in home sales and prices north of Malahat

Sales of houses and condominiums are rebounding after a significant downturn caused by the pandemic, the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board says.

The board, which covers areas of the Island north of the Malahat, said sales data from May indicate a vast improvement in the market over April and prices are still rising.

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Last month, 246 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service compared with 189 in April. However, the figure is still much lower than the 456 homes sold in May one year ago.

May sales of condominiums fell by 56 per cent year over year, but were significantly higher than in April, with 44 properties changing hands compared with 17 the previous month.

Townhouse sales dropped by 70 per cent year over year, but rose in May by 65 per cent compared with April, the board said.

Inventory of single-family homes last month dipped by 14 per cent year over year (1,486 to 1,282). Active listings of condos rose by 21 per cent (339 to 410) year over year, while townhouse inventory dipped by four per cent (185 to 178).

The benchmark price of a single-family home across the region was $528,800 in May, an increase of three per cent from the previous year and marginally higher than in April.

In the condo category, the year-over-year benchmark price rose by three per cent, hitting $306,400, down about one per cent from April. The benchmark price of a townhouse in May rose by three per cent year over year and was slightly higher than in April, climbing to $423,300.

The benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area last month was $449,900, an increase of five per cent over last year.

In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $532,000, up by two per cent from one year ago.

Duncan reported a benchmark price of $482,100, an increase of three per cent from May 2019.

Nanaimo’s benchmark price also rose by three per cent, to $575,300, in May.

The Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by one per cent to $594,800.

The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $331,200 in May, six per cent up from one year ago.

On a provincial level, home sales throughout B.C. posted sharp declines in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the province is in the second phase of its restart plan, the British Columbia Real Estate Association anticipates low interest rates and pent-up demand will translate to a significant recovery in home sales and prices.

dkloster@timescolonist.com

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