The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that the housing market calmed slightly in May but is still the strongest experienced since 2016.
May saw sales of 534 single-family detached properties compared to 590 in April, a dip of nine per cent. In the condo apartment category, 150 units sold last month versus 133 in April, up by 13 per cent. In the townhouse market, sales dropped by 11 per cent, with 94 units selling in May compared to 106 the previous month. (Since the pandemic began at this time last year, and the economic lockdown significantly slowed down the housing market – at least initially – our usual year-over-year sales comparisons are not particularly helpful right now.)
Slight upticks in active listings are opening up a few more opportunities for buyers, but inventory on Vancouver Island is still historically tight. Active listings of single-family homes rose by nine per cent month over month while townhouse inventory increased by five per cent. In the condo apartment category, however, active listings dropped by 10 per cent from April.
VIREB’s heated housing market continues to impact prices, which are rising throughout the board area. The benchmark price of a single-family home hit $692,600 last month, up by five per cent from April and 27 per cent higher than in May 2020. The benchmark price of an apartment reached $355,000, a
year-over-year increase of 16 per cent and three per cent higher than in April. The benchmark price of a townhouse rose by 29 per cent year over year and by four per cent from April, climbing to $527,200.