In 2020, 8,497 properties were sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region – a 17.1 per cent jump from 2019. (Unsplash)

In 2020, 8,497 properties were sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region – a 17.1 per cent jump from 2019. (Unsplash)

High demand, low supply drove up Greater Victoria home prices in 2020

8,497 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region

Growing demand for home ownership and a record low inventory combined in 2020 for what the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) is calling an “unexpected year.”

In 2020, 8,497 properties were sold in the region – a 17.1 per cent jump from 2019.

Year over year, December 2020 saw property sales soar, increasing by 57 per cent compared to December 2019, with 631 properties sold in the region. Condo sales were up 61.2 per cent.

“This has been an unexpected year on many levels,” said VREB president Sandi-Jo Ayers in a statement. “The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March and April quickly swept away any illusions that our normal seasonal market patterns would persist. Equally surprising was the resurgence of our market in early summer when restrictions lightened and pent-up demand began pushing sales beyond expectations.”

READ ALSO: Home values surge across Greater Victoria

That demand, coupled with low interest rates and a new swath of homebuyers, was met with a record low number of available properties. The result, according to VREB, was prices pushed upwards. Even historically lower-priced markets on the West Shore and in Highlands were under pressure.

Compared to the number of active listings at the end of December 2019, there were 1,279 active listings at the end of December 2020 – a 34.5 per cent decrease and the lowest inventory of active listings at month-end for 25 years.

Home values have grown too. According to the Multiple Listing Service, the benchmark cost for a single family home in the Victoria core was $857,000. In 2020, the benchmark cost was $915,000, representing a 6.8 per cent increase.

VREB encompasses 11 real estate boards from Sooke to Sidney, north to Cobble Hill and the Gulf Islands.

READ ALSO: Seven south Island properties make list of B.C.’s top valued residences


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