(File photo)

Statistics from the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) show that house sales remained high through August despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

VREB says that a total of 979 properties were sold in the region last month, compared to 661 properties sold in August 2019.

Sales this past August were compared to the month before, with exactly the same number sold in July.

Of the 979 properties sold, 509 were single family homes—a 45 per cent increase from August 2019.

VREB President Sandi-Jo Ayers says that while August was a very active month in property transactions, the data does not represent a trend in the market.

“It is a challenging time to define what is happening in the market given so many factors that don’t exist in a normal year,” said Ayers.

“We have been surprised by the pace of the summer market and are grappling with the evolving socio-economic effects of the pandemic and how these underlying factors will influence our fall real estate market.”

VREB went on to note that there were fewer listings available this August compared to August 2019.

At the end of August 2020, there were 2,584 active listings for sale on the VREB listing service, marking a decrease of 8.9 per cent from August 2019.

“We can also see that though demand is up, there are fewer listings on the market, which increases demand on desirable properties even more,” said Ayers.

“This is why we saw a lot of competition and multiple offers over the summer.”

She added that a number of factors will determine whether this market behaviour continues into the fall, including how the community manages COVID-19 impacts.

Home prices also increased from last year. The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria core in August 2019 was $849,500, compared to $889,200 in August 2020.

Prices fell by 2.3 per cent compared to the previous month, which saw a benchmark value of $909,700 for a single family home.