SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- The housing market in the Maritimes is starting to make a comeback after taking a temporary tumble due to COVID-19, but with a low inventory of residential listings and high demand, home buyers may find themselves having to act fast.

Nova Scotia's real estate market is on the rebound with home sales in the month of June hitting a new record high, but the supply is another story with residential listings in the province the lowest it's been in more than 15 years.

"COVID has affected us so much as when it hit in mid-March," said Matthew Honsberger of the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors. "I think both buyers and sellers decided they were going to slow down, but the buyers have come back more quickly than the sellers have from there."

That's made for a strong seller's market, and it's the same in Saint John, where sales are starting to increase again.

Corey Breau, the president of the Saint John Real Estate Board, believes the lack of inventory is causing buyers to react quickly.

"It's listings we're seeing down and I think by the lack of listings buyers are feeling pressure, so buyers are buying listings more rapidly than they would have previously," Breau said.

On the national level, the Canadian Real Estate Association released new statistics Wednesday, showing home sales went up by 63 per cent on a month-over-month basis in June -- around 150 per cent above what was recorded in April.

The number of newly listed properties went up by almost 50 per cent from May to June.

"It's all based on the inventory that's in the marketplace and it's a simple equation of supply and demand and there is a demand there, and right now our housing supply is shorter than it would normally be," said Jason Stephen, the past chair of Canadian Real Estate Association.

A shorter supply than normal during a year that's been anything but.