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A for-sale sign is pictured outside a home in Vancouver on June 28, 2016.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

Metro Vancouver home sales hit 3,047 in August at a benchmark price of $1.04-million, as the housing market continued its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of homes sold last month was nearly 20 per cent higher than the 10-year average for August, although there was a slight decrease from the 3,128 homes sold in July, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said on Wednesday.

The benchmark price in August was 5.3 per cent higher than August, 2019, and 0.7 per cent higher than July for the Vancouver area, said the board, which covers Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, West Vancouver and Whistler.

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Board chairwoman Colette Gerber said the higher-than-average sales were driven by people who put their plans on hold in the spring, when home viewings were locked down to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“Low interest rates and limited overall supply of homes for sale are creating competition in today’s housing market,” Ms. Gerber added in a statement.

While the number of homes listed for sale increased to 12,803 in August from 12,083 in July, the housing supply is still below the 13,396 homes that were on the market this time last year.

The ratio of sales to active listings – closely watched in the real estate market – hit 23.8 per cent. If the ratio stays above 20 per cent for several months, it can put “upward pressure” on home prices, the board said.

The board said that although apartments represented 1,332 of the homes sold last month, both detached and attached homes saw sales spike more than 50 per cent in August, compared with the same month last year.

“Like everything else in our lives these days, the uncertainty COVID-19 presents makes it challenging to predict what will happen this fall,” Ms. Gerber said.

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