bc housing market Photo: Suzanne Rushton / Unsplash

Home buyers across the province are setting their sights on larger properties and this pandemic-induced shift in preferences has sent prices soaring.

The average sale price of a BC home rose 12.5 percent to $812,960 in October, a record high. During the same month last year it sat at $722,333.

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That’s according to the latest market data published this week by the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA), which said higher value transactions are accounting for a larger share of sales, pushing prices skyward.

As was the case in markets across the country, BC continued to see record high home sales last month.

“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,” he added.

There were 11,051 homes sold in October, up nearly 44 percent over the previous year.

As sales surged, Ogmundson pointed to a lack of inventory on the market as another major contributor to fast-rising home prices. Active listings across the province were 14 percent lower last month when compared to October 2019 even as sales were recorded at a much higher volume.

Even with the spring lockdown, October’s record result means that home sales are now up over 16 percent in the first 10 months of the year relative to the same period in 2019.

As RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue wrote earlier this week, anyone looking for a turning point in the housing market “will need to keep watching.”

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