Photo: Suzanne Rushton / Unsplash

Having endured severe losses in previous months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, British Columbia’s housing market turned a corner in June.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reported this week that there were 8,166 homes sold province-wide last month, a nearly 17 percent increase from the same month last year. Total sales volume increased to $6.1 billion for the month, a 27.5 percent increase over June 2019.

“Sales around the province surged back to pre-COVID-19 levels in June,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson in the market report. “While there are some temporary factors that may have pushed demand forward, we are cautiously optimistic that market activity will remain firm.”

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In June, the average home price jumped 9.1 percent from the previous year to $748,155. The Victoria, South Okanagan and Powell River real estate boards experienced the largest average price gains year-over-year, increasing by 14.4 percent, 23.6 percent and 14.9 percent, respectively. Prices in Greater Vancouver received a solid boost too, rising 7 percent year-over-year from $980,635 to $1,049,475.

While new listings activity has normalized along with sales, BCREA is still reporting a significant drop in active listings compared to year ago levels. There were 34,232 active listings last month, a 20 percent decline compared to June 2019 when 42,625 properties were on the market.

Greater Vancouver saw a sharp decline in active listings by 22.9 percent, as did Chilliwack and Northern Lights, which saw drops of 39.1 percent and 18.9 percent, respectively. As a result of these decreases in listings, several markets are seeing upward pressure on prices as home buyer demand is overtaking supply, explained BCREA.

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