Island Real Estate Market Bouncing Back

The latest statistics from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) make something very clear: even a global pandemic can’t discourage Vancouver Island homebuyers. In its most recent summary VIREB reported that a total of 1,101 properties of all types traded hands last month on Vancouver Island – an increase of 39 percent from the same month last year.

During August 2020 a total of 547 single family homes were reported sold within VIREB’s coverage area, up a full 35 percent from the number sold during the same month last year. Sales spikes were recorded in the other major housing categories as well, with townhouse sales up 19 percent year over year, and condominium / apartment sales increasing a full 43 percent from August 2019’s totals.

Potential buyers have plenty of homes to choose from as well, with VIREB reporting that currently there are 1,729 properties of all types available for sale within the real estate board’s territory, which extends from the Malahat in the south to the northern end of Vancouver Island. This total inventory includes 1,081 single family homes, 427 condominium / apartments and 221 townhouses.

VIREB uses benchmark pricing to track the value of typical homes in each of its individual zones, with the board-wide benchmark price of a single family home reaching $533,300 in August, a three percent increase from a year ago. Board-wide price increases were reported in all major housing categories. The board-wide benchmark price of apartments climbed five percent to $312,000 while the benchmark price of townhouses increased by four percent to $432,300, a slight rise over July’s price.

Price increases were reported in all of VIREB’s individual zones, such as in Nanaimo where the August benchmark price of a single family home was $575,100, an increase of five percent from last August. Moving south to north, in the Malahat / Mill Bay area the benchmark price of a single family home was up seven percent to reach $610,200, while in the Cowichan Valley the benchmark price was up one percent, hitting $489,200.

In the Parksville / Qualicum Beach area the benchmark price of a single family home last month was reported as $608,300, an increase of three percent from August 2019’s price. In the Alberni Valley the benchmark price was up four percent year over year, reaching $329,100, while in the Comox Valley the benchmark price of single family homes sold had climbed three percent from last year to reach $537,300.

Further north in Campbell River, the benchmark price of a single family home was $455,600, up two percent, while in the North Island area the benchmark price reached $221,000, a significant 11 percent increase over the single family home price reported a year ago.

This increase in listings, inventory and prices all combine to tell the same story – that pandemic fears are down and interest from homebuyers is on the way up – all across Vancouver Island. Now’s the ideal time to be either a buyer or a seller, as the market is expected to get even hotter in the months to come.