VICTORIA -- Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate market in Victoria has been booming this summer, according to the Victoria Real Estate Board (VERB).

In July, a total of 979 properties were sold within the Victoria Real Estate Board region. That total represents a whopping 38.7 per cent increase in home sales compared to July 2019, and marks a 21.2 per cent increase from June 2020.

Similarly, June 2020 saw a huge increase in properties sold compared to the month before. In June, 808 properties were sold in the region, which represents a 76.8 per cent increase in home and condo sales compared to May, and a 9.2 per cent increase compared to June 2019.

However, VERB is quick to note that the recent surge in home sales does not indicate a long-term trend, as the local real estate market remains unpredictable amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

While this summer has seen an unseasonably high amount of sales, VERB says the sudden rush in real estate transactions is likely due to pent up demand, as prospective home buyers were less likely to view new properties during the height of the pandemic.

“If we look at the numbers alone, June and July were unseasonably busy months and the number of sales this month are on the higher end of our market for a typical July,” said VERB president Sandi-Jo Ayers in a release Tuesday.

“But we are not in a typical season… It is likely that our spring demand moved into summer now that folks are moving around our community more freely,” she said.

Meanwhile, the average cost of a single-family home in Greater Victoria last month was more than $1 million, a milestone that was first broken the month before in June.

In July, the average single-family home sold for $1,033,706 up from $1,014,746 in June. However, the median cost of a home remained below $1 million at $865,000.

According to VERB, a high demand for single family homes in Victoria, combined with a low market supply, have led to competitive conditions for prospective homebuyers.

“A big factor in our market right now is that we continue to see this very long term, very low supply of inventory which puts pressure on our market and prices,” said Ayers.

“Though we had a good number of new listings come to market this month, many of those listings were snapped up by buyers.”

Ayers says that over the past 10 years, the average number of listing available in July was 3,767. This year, however, approximately 1,000 fewer listings were available in Greater Victoria.

“Right now we have a lot of demand for single family homes – without the numbers to meet demand prospective buyers are often entering into multiple offer, competitive situations or are unable to find appropriate properties,” said Ayers.

With the real estate market surging across Greater Victoria, Ayers says that it is uncertain how market trends will unfold this fall due to COVID-19.