B.C. real estate: home sales soar to $49.7 billion for first nine months of 2020, up 25 percent over same period in 2019

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      It’s as if the pandemic never happened.

      The real estate market continues to be a bright spot in B.C.

      From January to September 2020, a total of $49.7 billion worth of homes sold across the province.

      The number represents a 25.1 increase compared to the first nine months of 2019, which recorded $39.7 billion in transactions.

      These figures form part of the statistical report released Wednesday (October 14) by the B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA).

      Also from January to September this year, buyers picked up 65,023 homes.

      The sales represent a 12.5 percent increase over the 57,798 homes sold in the first nine months of 2019.

      Average price year-to-date also increased to $764,298.

      The number constitutes an 11.2 percent increase over the average price from January to September 2019 of $687,334.

      The month of September 2020 also posted record highs.

      According to the BCREA, 11,368 homes sold last month, an increase of 63.3 percent from September 2019.

      The real-estate association also noted that the average residential price set a monthly record of $803,210, a 15.3 percent increase from $696,647 of the previous year.

      In addition, the total value to the sales in September reached $9.1 billion, an 88.3 percent increase over 2019.

      BCREA chief economist Brendon Ogmundson said: “Both total sales and average prices were the highest ever for the month of September as pent-up demand from the spring pushes into the fall.”

      On September 9 this year, the association released a report titled The Unusual World of Pandemic Economics.

      The report cited several factors behind the strong performance of the real estate market amid the COVID-19 health crisis.

      These include uneven job losses across sectors, an increase in the rate of savings by households, quick government aid like income support, tighter-than-ever housing supply, and low interest rates.

      “One thing we know for sure is that pandemic economics are very unusual and in these unprecedented times, history may not be as strong a guide,” the report stated.

      In a media release that went with the report, BCREA chief economist Ogmundson noted that by “looking at recent data in the housing market, it would be difficult to tell there was a recession at all”.

      “In a typical recession, we would see falling demand and rising supply, but this recession is anything but typical,” Ogmundson said.