Island real estate sales double over last year

Real estate sales in the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board area stretching from Duncan to Port Hardy nearly doubled in October compared with the same period last year.

There was a slight decline in the region month over month, but officials say it was due to lack of available homes for sale.

“Demand in the VIREB area continues to be high, but there just aren’t enough homes to satisfy it,” said president Kevin Reid.

Active listings of single-family detached properties (excluding acreage and waterfront) stood at 733 in October compared with 909 in September. There were 333 condo apartments and 197 row/townhouses for sale last month, down 14% and 3%, respectively, month over month.

“We don’t know if it’s a long-term trend, but we have noticed that some of the demand includes buyers who are advancing their retirement plans while others are downsizing and reducing their debt load,” said Reid.

He added that Island-wide, there have been several multiple offers, and available listings are being snapped up quickly, particularly in the $500,000 to $700,000 price range.

The board saw 1,066 sales last month compared to 721 in October 2019.

There were 524 single-family detached properties (excluding acreage and waterfront) sold in October, compared with 342 the previous year. Sales of condo apartments rose by 48% year over year and 6% month over month. Row/townhouse sales increased by 51% from October 2019 but dipped by 10% from the ­previous month.

The benchmark price of a single-family home hit $536,500 in October, an increase of 3% year over year and 2% lower than in September.

The year-over-year benchmark price of an apartment rose by 3%, hitting $304,200, but down by 2% from the previous month. The benchmark price of a townhouse rose by 9% year over year, climbing to $438,200 and an increase of 1% from September.

Benchmark prices in the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board area:

• Campbell River, $468,300

• Comox Valley, $534,300

• Duncan, $498,400

• Nanaimo $558,100

• Parksville-Qualicum, $619,600

• Port Alberni, $339,900

• North Island, $229,000