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Credit: Himanshu Chanan/Unsplash

Compared to the same month in 2019, Greater Vancouver led year-over-year price gains in August, with a 10.6-percent jump that put the average cost of a home at almost $1.1 million

Home sales gained almost 45 percent year-over-year in August, leaving prices up more than 10 percent for 2020

Think B.C. residential real estate had a strong July? Last month turned the heat up another notch as the market kept defying the COVID-19 downturn.

Residential unit sales totalled 10,172 in August, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports, a 42.8-percent increase over the same month in 2019. The average MLS price gained 12.7 percent, reaching $771,309. Total sales dollar volume hit $7.8 billion, a 61.1-percent jump over August 2019.

“Very strong provincial home sales continued in August,” BCREA chief economist Brendon Ogmundson said in a statement. “While pent-up demand from the spring is driving much of the increase, we anticipate a sustained strong level of sales through the fall.”

Continuing a trend from earlier in the summer, active listings for August fell 10.6 percent year-over-year, to 35,842. The declines were sharpest in Chilliwack (–35.6 percent), Powell River (–27.3 percent) and Kootenay (–22.3 percent).

Dollar volume for B.C. residential sales climbed 15.8 percent year-to-date, to $40.4 billion. At 53,336, unit sales gained 4.9 percent. As of August, the average residential price stood at $757,504, a 10.4-percent increase for the year.

By real estate board, the top three average prices in August were Greater Vancouver (up 10.6 percent year-over-year, to $1,077,729), Fraser Valley (up 14 percent, to $820,685) and Victoria (up 11 percent, to $780,978).

Proportionally, the top three price gainers by real estate board were South Okanagan (up 32.7 percent year-over-year, to $539,451), Okanagan Mainline (up 23.2 percent, to $636,431) and Chilliwack (up 14.1 percent, to $586,976).

When it comes to dollar volume, Greater Vancouver took the first spot with $3.36 billion, a 53.1-percent surge over the previous August. Fraser Valley (up 77.7 percent, to $1.59 billion) and Victoria (up 65.8 percent, to $735 million) finished second and third, respectively.