COVID Had Impact On May Housing Sales

While the ongoing COVID-19 health crises did negatively impact housing sales across Vancouver Island last month, the downturn wasn’t as severe as it might have been. According to the latest statistical information released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) a total of 246 single family homes were sold within VIREB’s coverage area (which extends from the Malahat in the south to the northern tip of Vancouver Island) during May.

Despite the fact that total was down dramatically from the 456 homes that traded hands on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System during May 2019, it was actually up from the 189 homes reported sold during April. Likewise, while apartment sales were down 56 percent and townhouse sales were down 70 percent year-over-year last month, they were both up markedly from the number of units reported sold during April.

During the month of May a total of 44 apartments were sold on the MLS® System. In the month previous only 17 apartments were reported sold. While VIREB did not release the number of townhouses sold on the MLS® last month, it did report that sales were up 65 percent from those recorded during April.

VIREB also reported that there was some fluctuation in the inventory of available properties on Vancouver Island last month. The supply of single family homes on the market during May was pegged at 1,282, a drop of 14 percent over May 2019 when 1,486 single family homes were available for purchase.

However there were 21 percent more apartments on the block than there were a year ago, 410 as compared to the 339 available in May 2019. The number of townhouses for sale in May was listed as 178, which is four percent fewer than the 185 on the market a year ago.

Housing prices on Vancouver Island continued its upward movement last month. VIREB uses benchmark pricing to track the value of typical homes in each of its individual zones. During May the board-wide benchmark price of a single family home was listed as $528,800, which is a three percent increase from last May, and an incremental rise over April 2020.

The board-wide benchmark price of apartments sold on the MLS® System was also up three percent to $306,400, a one percent dip from April’s price. The board-wide benchmark price of townhouses sold last month was up three percent from May 2019, reaching $423,300. This was slightly higher than the benchmark price reported during April.

Price hikes were reported in each of VIREB’s zones, such as in Nanaimo where the benchmark price of a single family home was up three percent year-over-year to $575,300. In the Parksville / Qualicum Beach area the benchmark price was up slightly to $594,800, while in the Cowichan Valley the benchmark price was listed as $482,100, a rise of three percent from the same month last year.

In the Comox Valley the benchmark price of a single family home was up two percent from last year, being listed as $532,000. Further north in Campbell River the benchmark price was up five percent to $449,900, while in the Alberni Valley the benchmark price was up six percent year-over-year, reaching $331,200.

No one can realistically predict the course of the current pandemic – and how this ongoing health crisis will influence the state of the real estate marketplace. The only certainty is that now more than ever buyers and sellers will need the services of real estate sales professionals when making a property transaction. Call Peter and Kathy today to learn more about buying and selling on Vancouver Island.