The benchmark price of a single-family home in Campbell River hit $468,300 in October, an increase of five per cent over last year. File photo/Black Press

The benchmark price of a single-family home in Campbell River hit $468,300 in October, an increase of five per cent over last year. File photo/Black Press

High real estate demand continues despite pandemic: VIREB

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) recorded 1,066 unit sales (all categories) last month compared to 721 in October 2019.

Breaking those numbers down, 524 single-family detached properties (excluding acreage and waterfront) sold in October compared to 342 the previous year, a 53 per cent increase but a decrease of 18 per cent from September. Sales of condo apartments rose by 48 per cent year over year and six per cent month over month. Row/townhouse sales increased by 51 per cent from October 2019 but dipped by 10 per cent from the previous month.

“Although sales are down somewhat from September, we attribute it to a lack of inventory, not a weakening market,” says VIREB president Kevin Reid. “Demand in the VIREB area continues to be high, but there just aren’t enough homes to satisfy it.”

Active listings of single-family detached properties (excluding acreage and waterfront) were 733 in October compared to 909 in September. There were 333 condo apartments and 197 row/townhouses for sale last month, down 14 per cent and three per cent, respectively, month over month.

“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,” says Reid.

He adds that Island-wide, realtors are seeing many multiple offers, and available listings are being snapped up quickly, particularly in the $500,000 to $700,000 price range.

“In a competitive housing market, potential buyers should consider using a local realtor,” Reid says. “We receive early intelligence on new listings coming onto the market. That knowledge, combined with custom sales tools and analytics, ensures we can achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.”

Notwithstanding high demand, correctly pricing your home remains the key to a quick sale. Overpriced homes tend to linger in our area despite prevailing market conditions, Reid says.

The benchmark price of a single-family home hit $536,500 in October, an increase of three per cent year over year and two per cent lower than in September. The year-over-year benchmark price of an apartment rose by three per cent, hitting $304,200 but down by two per cent from the previous month. The benchmark price of a townhouse rose by nine percent year over year, climbing to $438,200 and an increase of one per cent from September.

In Campbell River, the benchmark price of a single-family home hit $468,300, an increase of five per cent over last year. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $534,300, a slight increase from one year ago. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $498,400, an increase of three per cent from October 2019. Nanaimo’s benchmark price decreased slightly to $558,100, while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by six per cent to $619,600. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $339,900, up by two per cent from one year ago. For the North Island, the benchmark price reached $229,000, a 15 per cent increase over last year.

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