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Victoria & Vancouver Island Real Estate Blog

Victoria & Vancouver Island Real Estate Blog

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“The Unusual World of Pandemic Economics” –
Why BC’s Housing Market Remains Strong Despite COVID-19


Vancouver, BC – Septemeber 9, 2020. The British Columbia Real Estate Association’s (BCREA) latest Market Intelligence report, The Unusual World of Pandemic Economics, points to uneven job losses across sectors, an increase in many households’ rate of savings, swift government aid, a tighter-than-ever housing supply and low interest rates as the drivers behind BC’s recent housing market highs.

“The COVID-19 recession has battered many sectors of the BC economy. However, looking at recent data in the housing market, it would be difficult to tell there was a recession at all,” says BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “In a typical

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The market recovery stayed strong in the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board area, with a continued high volume of sales and low inventory. Much of the activity driven by pent up demand and low-interest rates.

There was a 39% increase year over year for August of total properties sold, hitting 1,101 sales. 547 of those sales were single-family homes, which increased 35% compared to August last year. The sales volume of condos increased in the same time period by 43%, and townhomes in the same period by 19%.

There were 1,081 single-family homes on the market available to buyers (excluding acreages and oceanfront), 427 condos, and 221 townhomes in August 2020. Given the volume of sales, this level of inventory indicates a strong seller's market.

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Canadian Employment (Aug) - September 4, 2020

Canadian employment gained 246,000 jobs in August (1.4%, m/m), following a gain of 419,000 in July. Combined with gains in May and June, national employment is now within 1.1 million of its pre-COVID February level. The national unemployment rate fell by 0.7 percentage points to 10.2% from the previous month. August gains were driven by full-time work, wherein the previous month it was in part-time work. Employment continued to increase at a faster pace in the services sector with the help of growth in educational services, accommodation and food services, and in other services sectors. Compared to the same month last year, Canadian employment was down by 5.3% (-1 million). 

Regionally, employment

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South facing corner unit w/ city views!


Opportunity knocks!

Welcome to City Side and your chance to own this stylish third floor two bedrooms and one bathroom corner unit with city views and southern exposure!

This condo offers a separate foyer leading to a large open space full of natural light flowing from end to end. There's room for a dining table, living space, and corner area perfect for the home office or reading nook.

Both bedrooms are located at the rear of the unit and the bathroom in the middle giving a perfectly designed floor plan.

Move in and enjoy the comfort of updates including bamboo flooring throughout, quartz counters in the kitchen and bathroom, backsplash, fixtures, new washer and dryer, under-mount

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There was only a slight change in the market from July 2020 to August 2020 in the Victoria area. The two months shared the exact same number of sales, though the later month saw a slight decrease in inventory and SFD Benchmark prices.

Specifically, August saw 979 sales (again, same as July) which was a 48.1% increase from August the previous year. Single family home sales rose 45% year over year (509 sales) and condos rose 29.1% in the same period (262 sales). As we said last month “these are some very big numbers for the month and if nothing else, great indicators that this is not a normal market.”

Despite many homeowners seeing the opportunity present to them in the current market, the high levels of sales and demand from buyers continue to

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Commercial Activity Impacted by Pandemic in 2020 Q2

To view the full Commercial Leading Indicator PDF, click here.

The BCREA Commercial Leading Indicator (CLI) continued to fall in the second quarter of 2020 from 127.6 to 121.9, representing the fourth consecutive quarterly decline. It was the second-largest drop in the indicator in over two decades, reflecting the hardest hit months of the pandemic in April and May. Compared to the same time last year, the index was down by 9.8 percent.

The second quarter of 2020 saw the complete shutdown of key economic industries in BC, while employment continued to decline in manufacturing and in key real estate sectors. In contrast, the financial component had the largest positive impact on the

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bcrea nowcast

BC Monthly Real GDP Estimate for June 2020 & Preliminary Estimate for July 2020 (Updated: August 28, 2020)


The BCREA Nowcast estimate of provincial economic growth (expressed as year-over-year growth in real GDP) for June 2020 is -5.7 percent. For comparison, the Canadian economy contracted 7.8 percent year-over-year in June.

We have also included a preliminary estimate for July 2020 of -4.2 percent. While year-over-year growth remains negative, the rate of decline is slowing as the economy continues to improve on a monthly basis.

Download the full report (PDF)

For more information, please contact:

Brendon Ogmundson
Chief Economist

BCREA is the professional association for

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Stunning Corner Unit in Highly Desirable Cook Street Village

Welcome to 310 - 1101 Hilda street, a stunning southeast corner unit condo in highly desirable Cook Street Village.  

With well over 1000 square feet you will enjoy a spacious family room with a cozy fireplace and loads of natural light that lead out to your private enclosed balcony.

Perfect for gardening, especially tropicals, or painting, yoga, or even a cozy place to enjoy a morning coffee while you take in the large swaying trees that create a canopy in the summer while allowing loads of light in the winter.  

Another deck is also off the great room if you prefer an open air space and looks out to the quiet peaceful neighborhood below.  

The tastefully updated

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Top Floor South East Corner Unit Located Between Cook Street Village and the Inner Harbour

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Welcome to 403 935 Fairfield Road a top floor South East quiet corner condo conveniently located between Cook Street Village and the Inner Harbour.

Arguably the best unit in the building with soaring views of spectacular sun rises and sun sets, city horizon, ocean glimpses and mountains beyond. 

This spacious condo boasts over 1100 square feet and has loads of natural light and offers complete privacy as the landscape beyond creates a green canvas free from windows and buildings looking in on you. 

In an adult oriented building this condo is in immaculate condition and updated with extra built in custom designed cabinetry, with updated

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Canadian Retail Sales (June) - August 21, 2020

Another good news report. Retail sales were up for a second consecutive month in June by 24% on a seasonally-adjusted basis, this follows a 21% rise in May. Sales were up in all subsectors, with growth primarily led by motor vehicle and parts dealers, as well as clothing. Retail sales in June were 1.3% higher than pre-pandemic levels in February. The June report puts second-quarter retail sales at 13% below the first-quarter report.    

Sales were up in all provinces in June, the most notable increases were in Ontario (34%), Quebec (24%), Nova Scotia (23%) and Alberta (19%). In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales were up by 13% ($7.4 billion) and by 18% ($3.4 billion) in Vancouver. Retail

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