B.C. residential real estate market heats up for summer

The average MLS price for a home in B.C. climbed almost 13 percent year-over-year in July.

Credit: Chris Thorn, courtesy of Sunshine Coast Tourism

Percentage-wise, Powell River was the top price gainer in July 

The average MLS price for a home in the province climbed almost 13 percent year-over-year in July

As many other sectors of the B.C. economy suffer, the residential property market keeps rebounding from its COVID-19 slump.

The province saw 10,090 residential unit sales in July, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports, a 26.6-percent jump over the same month in 2019. At $770,810, the average MLS price gained 12.9 percent year-over-year. Sales dollar volume hit $7.8 billion, up 43 percent compared to July 2019.

“Increased demand for more living space combined with an undersupplied market is producing significant upward pressure on home prices, particularly in the market for single-family homes,” BCREA chief economic Brendon Ogmundson said in a statement.

A decline in active listings—which fell 13.9 percent year-over-year in July, to 35,853—helped push prices higher. However, strong demand for single-family homes has skewed average prices in some markets, the BCREA notes.

Year-to-date through July, dollar volume for B.C. residential sales climbed 8.4 percent, to $32.5 billion. Unit sales dipped 1.4 percent, to 43,718, while the average home price rose to $754,842, a 10-percent gain.

When it comes to average prices in July, the top three by real estate board were Greater Vancouver (up 8.1 percent year-over-year, to $1,045,495), Victoria (up 25.1 percent, to $816,427) and Okanagan Mainline (up 16.4 percent, to $624,429). 

Proportionally, the top three price gainers by real estate board were Powell River (up 30.7 percent on average, to $450,882), Victoria and B.C. Northern (up 16.5 percent, to $356,045).

By dollar volume, Greater Vancouver finished first with $3,347,674,000, a 33.9-percent gain over the previous July. Fraser Valley (up 67.6 percent, to $1,655,466,000) took second place, followed by Victoria (up 74.9 percent, to 764,992,000).