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A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Residential property sales were up last month compared with a year ago, buoyed largely by increasing demand for condos and townhomes.

That's according to statistics provided by the Victoria Real Estate Board that show nearly 16 per cent more properties were sold in September compared with September 2018.

Of the 616 properties sold last month, 221 were condo units, while sales of single-family homes dropped by 1.1 per cent with 282 sold.

A breakdown of the number of townhomes sold was not available.

"We saw increased activity in the condo and townhouse market with an almost 50 per cent year-over-year sales increase in condos," said Victoria Real Estate Board president Cheryl Woolley in the organization's monthly report.

"It may be too early to call this a trend towards condo purchases, but this is a number to watch through the fall to see if buyers continue opting for condos and townhomes as more new developments are added to the market in highly desirable locations."

While the year-over-year property sales were up, the numbers showed a 6.8 per cent decrease in overall sales since August.

"Victoria continues to have a stable real estate sector and is a desirable place to live," Woolley said. "While sales are up compared to the same month last year, our inventory remains low, which may create challenges for people trying to get into the market in certain categories."

There were 2,823 active residential properties for sale on the real estate board's listing service at the end of September 2019, representing a 6.7 per cent increase over September 2018.