Predictions of a pandemic-induced demise of the Canadian housing market have not materialized, at least not yet.
Today, the B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA) reported that sales climbed 42.8 percent across the province in August, compared to the same month in 2019.
And the average multiple-listing-service price jumped 12.7 percent in the month on an annualized basis, reaching $771,309.
The largest average price hikes in August over the same month a year ago occurred in the South Okanagan (32.7 percent), Powell River (27 percent), Chilliwack (14.1 percent), and the Fraser Valley (14 percent).
Greater Vancouver recorded a 10.6 percent average price hike, whereas in Victoria the average price hike in August over the same month in 2019 was 11 percent.
Perhaps most astonishing, the dollar volume of sales in August reached $7.8 billion, up 61.1 percent over the same month last year.
“While pent-up demand from the spring is driving much of the increase, we anticipate a sustained strong level of sales through the fall, BCREA chief economist Brendon Ogmundson said in a news release.
Year-to-date sales are only up 4.9 percent compared to the first eight months of 2019. Dollar volume, however, is up 15.8 percent over the same period.
On June 4, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation predicted that housing prices would fall between nine and 18 percent as a result of an economic contraction brought on by COVID-19.
This came after the federal housing agency tightened rules regarding mortgage insurance, upping minimum credit scores and the ratio of household income to housing costs and debt obligations.
The three B.C. real-estate boards with the largest growth in sales numbers were Chilliwack (63 percent) and the Fraser Valley (55.8 percent), and South Okanagan (54.3 percent).
They were followed by Victoria (49.4 percent), Powell River (47.4 percent), Vancouver Island (45.7 percent), Okanagan Mainline (38.8 percent), Greater Vancouver (38.4 percent), Kootenay (33.5 percent), B.C. Northern (32 percent), and Kamloops (19.9 percent).
The Northern Lights Real Estate Board was the only one to show a decline on an annualized basis, with sales falling 12.5 percent.
Every real estate board except Victoria recorded a decrease in active listing in August compared to the same month a year ago. The largest drop was in Chilliwack at 35.6 percent, followed by Powell River at 27.3 percent and Kootenay at 22.3 percent.