Newsletter

Victoria Real Estate market impacted by low inventory, consistent demand

Victoria Real Estate market impacted by low inventory, consistent demand  


Oct 2019Oct 2018
Net Unconditional Sales:619598
New Listings:918958
Active Listings:2,6432,510

A total of 619 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, 3.5 per cent more than the 598 properties sold in October 2018 and a 0.5 per cent increase from September 2019. Sales of condominiums were down 1.1 per cent from October 2018 with 178 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 10 per cent from October 2018 with 318 sold.

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Victoria real estate summer sales and inventory levels follow historic patterns

August 2019 2018
Net unconditional sales 661 594
New listings 1006 972
Active listings 2838 2519

 

A total of 661 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this August, 11.3 per cent more than the 594 properties sold in August 2018 but a 6.4 per cent decrease from July 2019.Sales of condominiums were up 4.1 per cent from August 2018 with 203 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 15.5 per cent from August 2018 with 351 sold.

“August could be considered a status quo month for real estate in greater Victoria with entry-level homes selling quickly when priced appropriately, and higher-end properties moving at a slower pace,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “As expected, we’ve seen relatively stable pricing, with an uptick in sales – particularly single family homes. Unfortunately, summer has been accompanied with a slowing of new inventory coming onto the market, which suggests it is a good time for prospective sellers to consult with their REALTOR® about selling in the fall market.”

There were 2,838 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of August 2019, a decrease of 3.8 per cent compared to the month of July but a 12.7 per cent increase from the 2,519 active listings for sale at the end of August 2018.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in August 2018 was $888,100. The benchmark value for the same home in August 2019 decreased by 4.6 per cent to $847,300, slightly less than July’s value of $858,800. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in August 2018 was $503,600, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in August 2019 increased by 2.9 per cent to $518,100, lower than July’s value of $523,400.

“This month the federal government opened its First Time Home Buyer Incentive program,” adds President Woolley. “We’re pleased the government is looking at creative ways to get first time buyers into homes as this program will help some buyers in Canada’s smaller markets. We look forward to hearing how the federal government plans to help first time buyers in larger markets like Victoria, perhaps by adjusting the mortgage stress test parameters and extending the length of mortgage amortizations.”

A steady Greater Victoria area real estate market continues into summer

July 2019 July 2018
Net Unconditional Sales: 706 651
New Listings: 1,152 1,048
Active Listings: 2,949 2,607

A total of 706 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this July, 8.4 per cent more than the 651 properties sold in July 2018 but a 4.6 per cent decrease from June 2019. Sales of condominiums were up 14.4 per cent from July 2018 with 215 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 2.1 per cent from July 2018 with 347 sold.

“It’s not surprising to see the numbers trending slightly upwards compared to last year as the market slowly adjusts to government changes like the B20 mortgage stress test and the continuing low mortgage interest rates,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “Activity feels more normal now – more like before the real estate market in Greater Victoria saw the huge uptick in 2016 and 2017. It is a good time to buy and sell as consumers have more time to work with their REALTORS® and make decisions. We’ve seen a little more inventory added to the market compared to last year, which means more choice for buyers.”

There were 2,949 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of July 2019, a decrease of 3 per cent compared to the month of June but a 13.1 per cent increase from the 2,607 active listings for sale at the end of July 2018.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in July 2018 was $889,200. The benchmark value for the same home in July 2019 decreased by 3.4 per cent to $858,800, slightly less than June’s value of $859,600. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in July 2018 was $508,300, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in July 2019 increased by 3 per cent to $523,400, lower than June’s value of $524,100.

“July’s statistics show that our region’s housing market continues to be fairly active, despite many people being in summer vacation mode,” adds President Woolley. “Realtors continue to report strong interest in entry level homes as well as properties that are competitively priced. High end home pricing is softer, but $1.5 million dollar plus homes account for only 4.6 per cent of the total market.”

A late spring bloom for Victoria real estate market

A total of 848 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this May, 12.3 per cent more than the 755 properties sold in May 2018 and a 21.8 per cent increase from April 2019. Sales of condominiums were up 3 per cent from May 2018 with 244 units sold and were up from April 2019 by 20.2 per cent. Sales of single family homes were up 9.6 per cent from May 2018 with 445 sold.

“We are seeing lower activity than we have experienced in recent years for spring home sales,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “Of course, this is not surprising given consumers are impacted by the B20 mortgage stress test, as well as ongoing lower inventory levels. Despite this, we have seen an increase in May for sales over last year. Prices remain strong in the lower price ranges, with little change in our benchmark prices when compared to last year.”

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The spring market is here, bringing more sales – and more listings to choose from

Dear client,

Below is a snapshot of the market in April, showing again an increase in the number of listings, and less sales compared to April 2018. However, compared to March and February 2019, there is an uptick in the number of sales – the spring market is here.

Month

April

April

Year

2019

2018

Net Unconditional Sales:

696

774

New Listings:

1,392

1,291

Active Listings:

2,751

2,002

A total of 696 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 10 per cent fewer than the 774 properties sold in April 2018 but an 8.8 per cent increase from March 2019. Sales of condominiums were down 9.8 per cent from April 2018 with 203 units sold but were up from March 2019 by 3.6 per cent. Sales of single family homes were down 12 per cent from April 2018 with 369 sold.

“Spring has been a non-traditional real estate market thus far,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “Consumer purchasing power continues to be negatively impacted by the B20 mortgage stress test, causing many buyers to step back while they save more money for a down payment.”

There were 2,751 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2019, an increase of 13 per cent compared to the month of March and a 37.4 per cent increase from the 2,002 active listings for sale at the end of April 2018.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2018 was $874,800. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2019 decreased by 3.4 per cent to $845,100, higher than March’s value of $843,600. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in April 2018 was $506,900, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in April 2019 increased by 1 per cent to $511,700, higher than March’s value of $506,500.

“Prices have remained reasonably flat across the region and are expected to stay that way,” adds President Woolley. “Presently, REALTORS® are busy showing homes and bringing new listings to the market, but with few new options to view, we are still seeing multiple offer situations when that right property does become available. Given the current dynamic and evolving market conditions, it’s a good time to chat with your Realtor about a personal plan for buying or selling a property.”

March – Real Estate Market in Victoria

March 2019 March 2018
Net Unconditional Sales: 640 688
New Listings: 1,284 1,188
Active Listings: 2,435 1,766

A total of 640 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, 7 per cent fewer than the 688 properties sold in March 2018 but a 52 per cent increase from February 2019. Sales of condominiums were down 7.1 per cent from March 2018 with 196 units sold but were up from February 2019 by 51.9 per cent. Sales of single family homes were down 4.5 per cent from March 2018 with 322 sold. 

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January 2019: Victoria Real Estate Market’s cool conditions continue

A total of 329 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 23.7 per cent fewer than the 431 properties sold in January 2018 and a 12.3 per cent decrease from December 2018. Sales of condominiums were down 5.9 per cent from January 2018 with 111 units sold but were up from December 2018 by 7.8 per cent. Sales of single family homes were down 29.3 per cent from January 2018 with 152 sold.

“It’s already an interesting year for local real estate. REALTORS® are keeping busy showing homes and writing offers, however actual sales are slower than we would expect in an average January,” says 2019 Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “There are many reasons consumers are hesitant to purchase “For instance, changes to mortgage lending rules have decreased the amount of funds buyers can qualify for by up to twenty-five per cent. In turn, some consumers are re-evaluating their expectations and looking at condos and townhomes rather than single family homes; or they are looking at single family homes further outside the core. As well, many buyers appear to be waiting for new inventory to open up, while sellers are watching the market closely to see what their homes are worth and what the spring market may bring.”

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Speculation and Vacancy Tax

All homeowners in B.C.’s largest urban centres will need to apply for exemptions from the province’s new speculation tax or receive a bill, whether they are speculators or not, the government announced Tuesday.

Letters outlining the first speculation tax fees and exemption processes will begin arriving at all homes in Greater Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna and Metro Vancouver (excluding Bowen Island and Lions Bay, but including Abbotsford, Mission and Chilliwack) starting this week.

It will be up to all homeowners to apply for exemptions, with a deadline of March 31. Those who don’t apply, or qualify, will be sent tax bills due to be paid by July 2. The opt-out process will become an annual event for property owners under the new speculation tax rules. People who pay mistakenly can get a rebate within six years, according to the ministry.
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Your Property Assessment

Your Property Assessment

It is the middle of January and by now, you should have received your property assessment. Property assessments are an estimate of the value of the land and buildings as of July 1 of the previous year. If you think your assessment is wrong, you can appeal the assessment with the BC Assessment Authority. There is a formal appeal process with strict deadlines, the first one being January 31. BC Assessment has done a great job explaining the assessment process, you can read about it here, and be sure to check their list of key dates.

The Times Colonist published an article about inaccurate assessments that may interest you as well, you can read it here.

Any questions? Give me a call.

2018 Victoria Real Estate Market In Review

A total of 375 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 18.8 per cent fewer than the 462 properties sold in December 2017 and a 24.7 per cent decrease from November 2018. Sales of condominiums were down 24.3 per cent from 2017 in December with 103 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 26.6 per cent from December 2017 with 174 sold.

A grand total of 7,150 properties sold over the course of 2018, 20 per cent fewer than the 8,994 sold in 2017. 2018 sales came in very close to the ten-year average of 7,351 properties sold. Condominium sales totalled 2,162 in 2018, compared to 2,783 in 2017. Single family home sales were down from 4,069 in 2017 to 3,187 in 2018.

“The story arc in real estate this year has been the impact of government influence on a market which was showing signs of levelling out through the latter part of 2017,” says outgoing Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. “All levels of government turned their focus to try to make housing more affordable and attainable across the property spectrum. The federal government’s change to mortgage lending qualification rules this year meant many consumers lost 20 per cent of their purchasing power, which contributed to slowing down the pace of the market. On a municipal level, we saw many councils activating how they can influence affordable housing by leveraging current land assets, acquiring new land and creating partnerships to bring new affordable units to market – and that’s a very exciting thing for our market in the long term. The provincial government has also promised huge investments into new affordable developments. These developments are important to the long-term growth of our community, because the only way to make more affordable housing in our area is to build it.”

There were 1,988 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2018, a decrease of 15.2 per cent compared to the month of November but 43.6 per cent more than the 1,384 active listings for sale at the end of December 2017.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2017 was $832,000. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2018 increased by 3.2 per cent to $858,600, lower than November’s value of $865,200. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in December 2017 was $464,300, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in December 2018 increased by 8.2 per cent to $502,400, slightly more than November’s value of $500,500.

“The market in 2019 will continue to be quieter than in previous years, as buyers and sellers adjust to new market conditions and government policies,” adds President Kerr. “Inventory is still quite low when you look at a longer range, which will continue to put pressure on pricing. Our overall economy is predicted to slow slightly, and that will likely mean a slower increase in interest rates but also slower growth. The good news is that savvy buyers will have more time to find their new homes, and that sellers will be under less pressure if they are planning to move within our market. Remember in evolving markets like ours, it’s important to enlist the services of a REALTOR® to help you navigate what may be your largest transaction ever.”