Powell River’s real estate market is warming up.

Powell River/Sunshine Coast Real Estate Board president, Neil Frost, said May sales were “surprisingly good.”

“We were up significantly from April,” Frost said. “April was very poor, but of course that was obviously due to the pandemic and state of emergency declared in B.C.”

Frost said there were 23 residential sales plus two vacant land sales in the city last month, which is up from 11 total sales in April.

He added that those numbers are promising, especially in these uncertain times.

“March started out great and in the last half (of the month) really trailed off, and then April is where we’ve really felt the effects,” Frost said. 

“May and June have already been very busy. Year-over-year, we’re looking at 41 sales for May 2019 and we had 23 for May 2020, and those are residential sales. Total sales for May 2020 was 25 total sales compared to 46 total sales for (May) 2019.”

While down from last year, Frost said 25 sales in a month is “pretty strong for our market.”

Affordability is helping to drive the market locally. Frost said the average home price is roughly $390,000. 

“We’ve even seen some competing offers and property selling for over-list price,” Frost said.

The pandemic has changed the way realtors do their job, Frost said: “Worksafe BC has released a series of protocols and each office has also developed their protocols and basically, we’re trying to avoid in-person showings as much as possible.”

That said, serious buyers want to see a home in person before making the biggest purchase of their lives.

“We do take precautions, depending on the seller’s threshold,” Frost said. “Definitely sanitizing, and gloves, and face masks if requested, (physical) distancing at all times, buyers are asked to keep their hands in their pockets and not touch anything in the homes, limit the number of people inside a home at a time. Really trying to restrict it to the serious buyers or the people that are going to be on title.”