Newsletter

February 2020 Market Update

The first 2 months of 2020 are off to a strong start, the only thing slowing down the Victoria-area market is the low inventory. This results in multiple offers on well-priced properties, especially in the lower and middle end of the market. New mortgage qualification rules and low interest rates put additional upwards pressure on the market. Here is a quick overview of the number of listings and sales in February, followed by the Victoria Real Estate Board’s press release:

February 2020February 2020
Net Unconditional Sales:563421
New Listings:1,027757
Active Listings:2,1272,131
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Victoria Real Estate market remains competitive in November

November showed steady activity despite this traditionally being the time of year the market slows down. The number of sales was up over last year, the number of new listings slightly down, leaving the number of homes on the market close to last year’s inventory.

November20192018
Net Unconditional Sales:577498
New Listings:750804
Active Listings:2,3972,343

A total of 577 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this November, 15.9 per cent more than the 498 properties sold in November 2018 and a 6.8 per cent decrease from October 2019. Sales of condominiums were up 5.9 per cent from November 2018 with 161 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 15.4 per cent from November 2018 with 308 sold.

“We continue to see low inventory and strong demand for low to mid priced properties in our area, which is pushing pricing up on condos and single family homes that fall within that segment,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “It is a challenging time for those shopping for properties in that price range as they can often find themselves in a competing offer situation.”

There were 2,397 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of November 2019, a decrease of 9.3 per cent compared to the month of October, but a 2.3 per cent increase from the 2,343 active listings for sale at the end of November 2018.  

“The market this year is behaving as we’d expected, in the wake of tighter mortgage requirements and after the rapid pace of price increases we saw two years ago,” adds Woolley. “Appropriate pricing and awareness of market trends are essential right now if you want to buy or sell a home in our area. That is why it is important to have a REALTOR® guide you through the process. It’s worth getting this professional help, for what likely will be the biggest purchase or sale of your lifetime.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in November 2018 was $865,800. The benchmark value for the same home in November 2019 decreased by 1.2 per cent to $855,400, slightly less than October’s value of $857,700. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in November 2018 was $501,300, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in November 2019 increased by 3.1 per cent to $517,000, slightly more than the October value of $511,600. 

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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