Transactions were up over the same time last year. (File photo)

Real estate market runs hot through August

East Kootenay Realty reported 154 transactions last month

Despite the pandemic, or perhaps because of it, the real estate market is running hot in the region in 2020.

Owner and president of Royal LePage East Kootenay (EK) Realty, Philip Jones said that transactions in August were up 16.5 percent over the same time last year, and they’d had to hire more people to keep up.

EK Realty, which covers the Elk Valley, Cranbrook and Kimberley reported 154 transactions in August – the busiest month of the year so far.

“We noticed a slowdown of course in March, but since then our market has been extremely busy,” said Jones.

“(It’s been) at or above levels from previous years. In some cases we’re setting new records for the volume of transactions.”

“(July and August) have been exceptionally busy months,” he said, explaining that in previous years summer months tended to be quieter, but now they were turning out to be some of the busiest.

Even the pandemic wasn’t keeping sales down, said Jones.

“People naturally withdrew from the market for a while. But it was not very long. By the time we got into April the market started increasing, and it increased every month through to August.”

Social distancing requirements hadn’t gotten in the way of sales, with some properties selling sight-unseen thanks to virtual tours.

Not only were there more properties changing hands, Jones said there were far more buyers than sellers around, with lots of properties getting multiple offers.

With a shortage of supply in both municipal and rural areas, prices were edging up.

“We’ve had years when we’ve been as busy as this, but not with the prices we have now. When I started in the business we were selling new houses for less than $100,000.”

READ MORE: Fernie real estate market sees effects of COVID-19
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