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VREB May 2017 News

Victoria Real Estate Market Inventory Edges Up, Sales Still Constrained

May 1, 2017 – “The numbers we saw in April are a further indication that the market is gradually moving towards a more balanced state compared to the record setting pace of 2016.” says 2017 Board President Ara Balabanian.

A total of 885 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 31.2 per cent fewer than the 1,286 properties sold in April last year. The ten year average for sales in April is 772 properties.

“We are starting to see hints of a more traditional spring market. Local agricultural production has been delayed due to the late spring, and so has the local real estate market,” adds President Balabanian, “More sellers listed their homes for sale over the month of April compared to the month previous.”

There were 1,690 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2017, an increase of 8.6 per cent compared to the month of March, but 34.8 per cent fewer than the 2,594 active listings for sale at the end of April 2016.

“Inventory is still low, which means that buyers may encounter multiple offer situations in some of the high demand areas – there is still more demand than supply,” adds President Balabanian.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2016 was $684,900. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2017 has increased by 17.6 per cent to $805,100.

VREB April 2017 News

Victoria Real Estate Market Continues Trend of Low Inventory, High Demand

April 2, 2017 – A total of 929 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, 17.1 per cent fewer than the 1,121 properties sold in March last year.

“We predicted early in the year that we wouldn’t see a continuation of the record sales numbers that we saw in 2016,” says 2017 Board President Ara Balabanian. “However, we are still in a very active market, as evidenced by the fact that this is second highest March on record if you remove that record breaking 2016 data. We saw nearly 200 more transactions last month than March 2015, when 734 properties sold.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2016 was $663,300. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2017 has increased by 19.1 per cent to $790,100.

Inventory levels edged lower, with 1,556 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March 2017, 40.6 per cent fewer than the 2,618 active listings for sale at the end of March 2016.

“The public and REALTORS® are getting used to the new tempo of the market – with the ongoing historically low inventory levels and high consumer demand – both parties need to be tenacious and have quick reflexes. Sellers need to ensure they have assistance from an experienced local Realtor to help understand current demand and pricing. Even in this market, properties can sit unsold for months without selling because of an inappropriate price,” adds President Balabanian. “We do think we will see a more balanced market in the future as more inventory becomes available. Traditionally, people prefer to list their home when gardens and outdoor areas can be shown to their best advantage. Hopefully, as our warmer weather arrives we will see more listings added into the market to offer more choice for buyers.”

VREB March 2017 News

Victoria Real Estate Market Healthy Heading into Spring

March 1, 2017 –  A total of 675 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 12.6 per cent fewer than the 772 properties sold in February last year.

“Last month we discussed how 2017 won’t match 2016 in terms of huge sales numbers, due to many factors including the present lack of inventory,” says 2017 Board President Ara Balabanian. “In spite of the low inventory the real estate market in Victoria is robust. The ten year average for sales in February is 542, so we are well within expected numbers for this time of the year with 675 properties sold. In fact, this February’s sales are the second highest in the past ten years. It is also possible that our market may have been restrained over the course of the month due to something that is completely normal in many Canadian markets – the snow fall in the Victoria area certainly cancelled many open houses and may have put a damper on sales.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2016 was $638,700. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2017 has increased by 21.3 per cent to $775,000.

Inventory levels edged lower, with 1,537 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2017, 40 per cent fewer than the 2,562 active listings at the end of February 2016.

“The low number of homes for sale in our marketplace can put pressure on pricing,” adds President Balabanian. “The good news is we have seen an increase in new listings this month over January. January saw 753 new listings, while February’s count was 880. This time last year there were 1,160 new listings, so we’ll be watching the numbers in March closely to see if more sellers decide to get into the market as spring arrives.”

About the Victoria Real Estate Board – Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs to enhance the professionalism of REALTORS®. The Victoria Real Estate Board represents 1,332 local Realtors. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, connect with your local Realtor for detailed information on the Victoria and area housing market.

VREB February 2017 News

 Victoria Real Estate Market Starts the Year with Fewer Listings and Above Average Activity

February 1, 2017 –  A total of 478 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 11.3 per cent fewer than the 539 properties sold in January last year.

Inventory levels edged lower, with 1,516 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2017, 38.6 per cent fewer than the 2,471 active listings at the end of January 2016.

“The numbers we saw last year are not the new normal. We know that we are not going to see sales volumes this year that meet or beat last year’s record breaking numbers,” notes 2017 Board President Ara Balabanian. “When compared to the month of January’s ten year average, which is 384 transactions, sales in January 2017 are nearly 25 per cent higher than average. The least active January we saw in the past ten years was in 2009 with 247 sales, and the most active was last year.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January 2016 was $616,700. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2017 has increased by 24.4 per cent to $767,000.

“It’s early in the year to make predictions,” adds President Balabanian. “Over the last few decades, the historic cycle in Victoria is longer periods of stable activity and price followed by a rapid rise in activity and property values over a relatively short period of time. The coming months will provide us with a better idea of where we are in this cycle.”

About the Victoria Real Estate Board – Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs to enhance the professionalism of REALTORS®. The Victoria Real Estate Board represents 1,327 local Realtors. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, connect with your local Realtor for detailed information on the Victoria and area housing market.

VREB January 2017 News

Victoria Real Estate Market’s Record Breaking 2016, Demand Likely to Continue in 2017

January 3 2017, Victoria, BC
A total of 471 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 1.3 per cent more than the 465 properties sold in December last year.
Inventory levels edged lower than last year, with 1,493 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2016, 40.7 per cent fewer than the 2,517 active listings at the end of December 2015.

“As we expected, 2016 broke records in terms of the number of properties sold in our area,” notes Mike Nugent, outgoing 2016 President of the Board. “10,622 properties sold, which exceeds our previous high of 9,241 sales in 1991.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2015 was $613,600. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2016 has increased by 23.6 per cent to $758,500.

“We expect sales to continue to be strong but we don’t expect to see the phenomenal activity we saw in 2016 for 2017. Inventory continues to be low,” adds President Nugent. “You can’t sell something that isn’t there. There is certainly an ongoing demand for properties. This is reflected in the fact that 25 per cent of sales this month sold over their asking price. The majority of these properties were in the up to $750,000 price point, so your average buyer will face a competitive market.”

About the Victoria Real Estate Board – Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs to enhance the professionalism of REALTORS®. The Victoria Real Estate Board represents 1,327 local Realtors. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, connect with your local Realtor for detailed information on the Victoria and area housing market.

VREB December 2016 News

High Demand Continues as Inventory Shrinks in the Victoria Housing Market

December 1 2016, Victoria, BC

A total of 599 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this November, 4.5 per cent more than the 573 properties sold in November last year.

Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 1,815 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of November 2016, 38.5 per cent fewer than the 2,952 active listings at the end of November 2015.

“Our current housing market is in a strong cycle due to many factors, including our current positive economic conditions, baby boomers retiring here, millennial buying cycles, a low Canadian dollar keeping folks closer to home and our favourable living conditions,” notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. “These factors and others, in combination with ongoing low inventory mean demand for housing is up, particularly in those areas close to the core and amenities.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in November 2015 was $608,600. The benchmark value for the same home in November 2016 has increased by 23.9 per cent to $753,800.

“Foreign buyers are another factor that affects our local housing market. The provincial government is considering implementation of a local tax on foreign buyers to ensure pressure on pricing from that source remains mitigated,” adds President Nugent. “While October data shows an increase in foreign buyers into the Capital Regional District compared to previous months, their 6.3 per cent of property transfers indicate that these buyers are one factor in the marketplace. A much larger factor affecting affordability and availability right now is the lack of inventory. An effective method to address housing affordability issues could be through efforts to increase the supply of housing, either through adjustments to zoning or density.”

About the Victoria Real Estate Board – Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs to enhance the professionalism of REALTORS®. The Victoria Real Estate Board represents 1,320 local Realtors. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, connect with your local Realtor for detailed information on the Victoria and area housing market.

VREB November 2016 News

Competitive Housing Market in Victoria Continues as Inventory Remains Low

November 1 2016, Victoria, BC

A total of 735 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, a single property more than the 734 properties sold in October last year.

Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 1,938 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2016, 38.9 per cent fewer than the 3,170 active listings at the end of October 2015.

“We continue to see low inventory hindering sales in the local market,” notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. “Though our numbers are down from the record setting pace set this summer, the market is still moving quickly and is still very competitive for certain properties. High demand areas like Saanich and Oak Bay continue to see multiple offers and areas in the West Shore are also seeing sales over listed prices. In other areas, prices remain firm because of high demand and extremely limited inventory.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in October 2015 was $608,200. The benchmark value for the same home in October 2016 has increased by 24.1 per cent to $755,000.

“The federal government’s change to mortgage lending rules has also impacted buyers,” adds President Nugent. “Buyers that require mortgage insurance are able to qualify for significantly smaller mortgages than before the rule change and this is further limiting their options in a very restricted market. Some buyers have postponed their search in order to save up more of a down payment so they can work within these new limitations.”

About VREB – Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs to enhance the professionalism of REALTORS®. The Victoria Real Estate Board represents 1,305 local Realtors. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, connect with your local Realtor for detailed information on the Victoria and area housing market.

VREB October 2016 News

Victoria Housing Market Chills Out For Fall

October 3 2016, Victoria, BC

A total of 781 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this September, an increase of 10.9 per cent compared to the 704 properties sold in September last year.

Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 2,061 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of September 2016, 40.7 per cent fewer than the 3,478 active listings at the end of September 2015.

“This is the lowest level of inventory on the market in September that we have on record [since 1996],” notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. “This continuing lack of inventory holds up sales. The market is still strong, but not moving at the pace we saw earlier in the year. This slowdown is typical with what we expect in the fall to winter season and may be more pronounced as a result of buyer fatigue, due to the lack of available inventory.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in September 2015 was $607,100. The benchmark value for the same home in September 2016 has increased by 22.8 per cent to $745,700.

“We have already exceeded the number of sales that we saw in 2015, with a full quarter remaining in the year,” adds President Nugent. “And there is still strong demand, thanks to underlying fundamentals in our province – the GDP is up, employment numbers are up, retail and population growth is up. All of these contribute to current market conditions. We also see no indication that the new foreign buyer Property Transfer Tax in Metro Vancouver has pushed foreign buyers into our market in a substantial way, though we continue to track that as a possibility.”

About VREB – Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs to enhance the professionalism of REALTORS®. The Victoria Real Estate Board represents 1,293 local Realtors. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, connect with your local Realtor for detailed information on the Victoria and area housing market.

VREB September 2016 News

 Victoria Property Sales Continue Record Breaking Pace

September 1 2016, Victoria, BC

A total of 883 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this August, an increase of 19.2 per cent compared to the 741 properties sold in August last year.

“August is a record breaker in more than one way. For the sixth consecutive month, we have a sales record with more sales than any other month of August on record,” says Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. “We also have the lowest number of listings available for sale in an August than we’ve seen in the last twenty years. That lack of inventory will continue to put pressure on pricing. Sales would be even higher were there more inventory available for buyers to purchase. Regardless of the low inventory, it’s safe to say that by mid-September we will have surpassed the number of sales for all of 2015, with four months remaining in the year.”

Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 2,094 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of August 2016, 43.2 per cent fewer than the 3,688 active listings at the end of August 2015.

“As we saw last month, the expected seasonal slowdown continues as we move towards the autumn,” adds Nugent.  “August tends to be the slower summer month, though the year-over-year sales numbers are very strong. This shows continued consumer confidence in the Victoria real estate market. It is early to determine a trend, but we don’t see any early indications that the foreign investment Property Transfer Tax implemented in Metro Vancouver has impacted sales to any extent in Victoria at this time.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in August, 2015 was $603,200. The benchmark value for the same home in August 2016 has increased by 23.8 per cent to $746,900

 

VREB August 2016 News

Victoria Real Estate Market Continues to Sizzle in Summer Months

August 2 2016, Victoria, BC

A total of 972 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this July, an increase of 22 per cent compared to the 796 properties sold in July last year. “Though we saw the seasonal slowdown that we expect this time of year, we had another record breaking month,” says Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. “The last time we saw a July this busy was in 2009 when 933 properties sold.”

Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 2,161 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of July 2016, 45 per cent fewer than the 3,942 active listings at the end of July 2015.

“Late last week the provincial government approved new legislation that may affect the real estate market in our area, though at this time we can only guess how a foreign investor’s tax in the Metro Vancouver region will impact sales here in Victoria,” adds Nugent. “Recent data released by the government shows that nearly ten per cent of property transfers in Metro Vancouver involved foreign nationals. This is part of the rationale for applying a fifteen per cent tax on transactions only in Metro Vancouver at this time. Does this mean international demand will spill over into Victoria and other areas of BC? We won’t know until we see the data. The Capital Regional District saw two per cent out of country buyers in the year of 2015. Although this is a small percentage of our buyers, anecdotally foreign buyers do tend to favour the same core neighbourhoods and therefore can have an impact on those areas.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in July, 2015 was $599,800. The benchmark value for the same home in July 2016 has increased by 23.6 per cent to $741,100.