Real estate sales in the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) area hit a new record for August (Black Press Media File)

Real estate sales across southern Vancouver Island hit new record in August

Average detached house price in Greater Victoria above $1 million

Despite ongoing concerns about COVID-19, the local real estate market experienced an all-time high in August.

According to figures from the Victoria Real Estate Board, 979 properties sold in VREB’s region, up 48.1 per cent compared to August 2019. According to Leo Spalteholz, a local realtor who runs househuntvictoria.ca, an analysis site, this figure represents an “all time record for the month.”

Single, detached homes led the way with 509 sold (up 45 per cent from August 2019), followed by condominiums with 262 units sold (up 29.1 per cent from August 2019).

For Spalteholz, these August figures mean that “market activity in Greater Victoria has recovered substantially from the impact” of COVID-19 with single family homes in a strong sellers market with sales high. But he balances this assessment with a caveat. COVID-19 has simply shifted sales from the spring into the summer with long-term uncertainty persisting.

RELATED: Greater Victoria real estate sales numbers tell two stories for July

Uncertainty also echos through the comments of Sandi-Jo Ayers, VREB’s president. August may have been a very active month in terms of sales, but hardly a harbinger of things. “(Once) again I will note that this is not a trend, but that this is our market at this moment in time during a unique situation,” she said. “It is a challenging time to define what is happening in the market given so many factors that don’t exist in a normal year.”

While the pace of the summer market has surprised realtors, they are also “grappling with the evolving socio-economic effects” of the pandemic and how they might influence the fall real estate market.

One central factor is the state of interest rates. Already low, many experts predict they will remain low, even drop, as countries around the world look to stimulate their economies.

Another factor concerns ongoing levels of income support. Spalteholz does not foresee a hard drop in incomes among Canadians.

RELATED: Canadian Real Estate Association says July marked a record high for home sales

Finally, the phase-out of mortgage deferrals may also force some current homeowners to list their properties. While Spalteholz does not foresee a ‘wave of foreclosures in the fall,” most owners in trouble would be better off trying to list their properties on the open market first. “With prices stable or up since pre-pandemic so far, that may be a quick way to get out from an unmanageable debt,” he added.

Inventory, in other words, might be on the rise. As Spalteholz wrote in June, “(who) knew that it would take a global pandemic and an 18 effective unemployment in Victoria to bring average (detached) house prices to a million dollars?”

This surge has somewhat slowed with the average for a detached single-family home in VREB’s area has just a shade below $1 million – $998,291 to be exact – down 2.3 per cent compared to July, but up 15.8 per cent compared to August 2019. This said, the average price for a single family home in Greater Victoria (that is not counting the other areas that are part of VREB) remains above $1 million.

Oak Bay remains the most expensive area with a benchmark price for a single home at $1.213 million, followed by Metchosin ($984,100) and North Saanich ($983,400), which tops all communities on the Saanich Peninsula with Central Saanich ($816,100) ahead of Sidney ($698,500).


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Real estate

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay couple honoured for 35 years volunteering

Mayor awards distinguished Oak Leaf to Bert and Doris Dinsmore

Hospital foundation president praises generosity of Peninsula residents

Karen Morgan said support during COVID-19, financial and otherwise, has been touching

Meet the Liberal candidate for Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Roxanne Helme about ‘governance, not politics’

New Democrats on Saanich Peninsula still looking to announce candidate

While BC Liberals have nominated Stephen Roberts, New Democrats have not yet announced candidate

UPDATED: West Shore RCMP locate dangerous, ‘high-risk sex offender’ thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Most Read