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VREB March 2018 News

Victoria Real Estate Market Adapts to Changing Policy Landscape

A total of 545 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 19.3 per cent fewer than the 675 properties sold in February last year. The sales of condominiums were down 15.5 per cent from last year in February with 174 units sold. Single family homes were 24.4 per cent down from the year previous, with 260 sold this February.

“We certainly anticipated that we would see some lower numbers this year compared to last,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. “Right now prospective home buyers are met with many hurdles as they start shopping for their new home. They’re in a market that’s experienced long-term low inventory, which means more price pressure and competition on homes. Buyers are navigating increasing interest rates and the new mortgage stress test. These factors all combine to constrain our market. Like any changes to consumer experience, there is a period of response before consumers adapt to the new rules. We saw an increase in buyers in November and December who bought early to avoid the mortgage stress test, and this likely means less buyers in the current market. However, with continued historical low inventory levels, demand is still outpacing supply.”

There were a total of 1,545 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2018, an increase of 3.6 per cent compared to the month of January and 0.5 per cent more than the 1,537 active listings for sale at the end of February 2017.

“The provincial government recently rolled out its budget, which includes an admirable commitment to spend six billion dollars to build 114,000 units in ten years,” adds President Kerr. “These units will take years to come to market, and it is difficult to predict how many we will see in Victoria. The government needs a long-term approach to supply needs in our area, and that initial commitment is a good start. A reasonable way to bolster their commitment and improve current conditions is for the province to work with our municipalities to reduce the timelines and costs associated with bringing new housing to our market.”

 

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2017 was $771,100, while the benchmark value for the same home in February 2018 increased by 9 per cent to $840,300, slightly higher than January’s value of $831,900. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in February 2017 was $394,400, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in February 2018 increased by 19.85 per cent to $472,600, which is slightly higher than January’s value of $460,500.
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 1,371 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.

Probate Issues

Backlog!

Tejpaul Wirk from Mullin Demeo came and talked to us regarding Probate.  

Selling prior to probate

It is highly recommended that a property not be marketed until probate has cleared.  Selling prior to probate can cause collateral issues on all ends.

Avoiding probate fees:

A question came up regarding estate tax and probate. A property owner may consider putting their children’s names on title in order to save the probate fee (currently 1.4%). Tej said this can open a number of issues including exposure to Capital Gains Tax, and credit issues caused by debts incurred by a child.  In most cases it is safer to leave the title as is.  It is always prudent to talk to your lawyer and financial planner regarding estate issues.

VREB February 2018 News

Victoria Real Estate market begins the new year with low inventory and high demand

February 1st, 2018

A total of 431 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 9.8 per cent fewer than the 478 properties sold in January last year. The sales of condominiums were down 30.6 per cent from last year in January – with 118 sold. Single family homes were 4 per cent down from the previous year, with 215 selling in the first month of 2018.

“We expected January to be a bit slower after the increase in activity we saw in November and December, which was likely due in part to buyers entering the market early to avoid the new mortgage stress test,” says 2018 Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. “We have yet to see the full effect of the stress test, as many people attained a 90 -120 day pre-approval before the test became required January 1. We won’t know how much that stress test will affect the spring market until we see the numbers, and spring is also the time when sales traditionally pick up.”  

There were a total of 1,491 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2018, an increase of 7.7 per cent compared to the month of December and 1.6 per cent fewer than the 1,516 active listings for sale at the end of January 2017.  

“2017 concluded with very constrained inventory levels, which hit record lows early in January. The lack of inventory in our market is maintaining pressure on pricing, especially as high demand continues in many areas of Victoria,” adds President Kerr. “We can also see the effects of headwinds influencing our market in 2018, including attempts to curb demand at all levels of government. The mortgage stress test is the latest to be introduced, and we may learn of further measures later this month when the provincial budget is released. We hope the government takes a balanced approach to our housing market in their budget and offsets any further demand-side measures with initiatives aimed at addressing the ongoing supply shortages for both home buyers and renters.  We also encourage our local governments to take some time to assess the effects of demand-side measures like the mortgage stress test and recent interest rate hikes before introducing further restraints on our market.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January 2017 was $761,100. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2018 increased by 9.3 per cent to $831,900, slightly higher than December’s value of $823,800. HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria area in January 2017 was $375,300. The benchmark value for the same condo in January 2018 increased by 20.1 per cent to $450,600, which is slightly higher than December’s value of $445,000.

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 1,357 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.

Courtesy Victoria Real Estate Board

 

VREB January 2018 News

Victoria Real Estate Market Strong to the End of 2017

January 2nd, 2018

A total of 462 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 1.9 per cent fewer than the 471 properties sold in December last year.

 A grand total of 8,944 properties sold over the course of 2017, 15.8 percent fewer than the record breaking 10,622 that sold in 2016. 2017 sales came in at 21.7 per cent over the ten year average of 7,349 properties sold.

“Early in 2017 we discussed how the Victoria area housing market would be different than the record breaking year we had in 2016 and that over the course of the year we’d probably see a gradual return to a more balanced market. We did see evidence of this change come early in the year, as multiple offers and rapid price increases leveled out,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. “However, the ongoing low inventory of properties for sale meant that buyers continued to experience competitive situations in high demand areas, and
multiple offers were still a common occurrence as buyers negotiated in a tighter market. What we couldn’t anticipate were outside factors such as changes to mortgage qualifying rules that may have pushed people into the market early. The pending mortgage stress test in particular is likely to have caused much of the increased activity we’ve seen in November and December.”

There were 1,384 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2017, a decrease of 21.5 per cent compared to the month of November and 7.3 per cent fewer than the 1,493 active listings for sale at the end of December 2016. This is the lowest level of inventory for the area in the month of December since the statistic was tracked in 1996.

 The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2016 was $753,900. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2017 has increased by 9.3 per cent to $823,800, and is slightly lower than November’s value of $824,600.

 “Overall, the low inventory and the continued interest in Victoria real estate meant that well-priced homes were quick to sell in 2017. Moving forward, we expect to see more inventory come into the market, which will continue to move us toward a more balanced state,” adds President Balabanian. “We also expect housing prices to
remain stable, without the increases we tracked in 2016, and anticipate steady slow growth. In markets like these, it’s important to enlist the services of a REALTOR® to help you navigate what may be your largest transaction ever.” 

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 1,374 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 2017 News

Victoria Real Estate Market Experiences a Burst of Activity

December 1, 2017 

A total of 671 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this November, 12 per cent more than the 599 properties sold in November last year. 

“We suggested last month that some buyers may accelerate their purchase timeline to buy a new home in anticipation of the mortgage stress test on uninsured buyers – those with a down payment of 20 per cent or more – that will come into effect on January 1,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. “Judging by the sales we saw in November and what I have heard from our REALTOR® members, some buyers have indeed accelerated their purchasing plans to avoid the stress test. This may change the numbers we see in the early months of 2018, as some buyers who had planned to buy next year have bought a bit earlier.”

There were 1,764 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of November 2017, a decrease of 7.4 per cent compared to the month of October and 2.8 per cent fewer than the 1,815 active listings for sale at the end of November 2016. 

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in November 2016 was $748,500. The benchmark value for the same home in November 2017 has increased by 10.2 per cent to $824,600, which is slightly higher than October’s value of $821,900. 

“So was this November a record breaker?” asks President Balabanian. “While not a record, it is the highest November sales count we’ve tracked since 1996. It is also rare that we see November numbers beat October numbers. The fact that we’ve had an unusual month does not necessarily mean that this is the start of a new trend, it is however, a good example of how outside forces can impact a housing market. It’s likely there will be more government-led change in the new year and we’ll report on the effects of those changes on the market. Our hope is that the different levels of government coordinate their efforts to avoid a negative compounding effect on the market.”

VREB November 2017 News

Victoria Real Estate Market Slowly Stabilizing after a Record Breaking 2016

A total of 664 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, 9.7 per cent fewer than the 735 properties sold in October last year.  

“As expected, we saw fewer sales than this time last year,” notes Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. “Looking at the longer term picture however, sales last month were 17.1 per cent above the ten year average of 567 properties for the month of October, so the market is still very active here in Victoria, and this is in spite of the ongoing low inventory levels.”

There were 1,905 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2017, a decrease of 3.6 per cent compared to the month of September and 1.7 per cent fewer than the 1,938 active listings for sale at the end of October 2016.  

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in October 2016 was $752,000. The benchmark value for the same home in October 2017 has increased by 9.3 per cent to $821,900, but is lower than July’s value of $834,200.  

“The fact that we’ve seen such a controlled levelling off in the market directly following a year which felt so uncontrollable in terms of demand and pressure on prices illustrates the depth and stability of the Victoria market. An unstable market may have experienced a heavy correction or shift, whereas in our market sales are moderating at a reasonable rate.” adds President Balabanian. “In the coming months we expect to see less inventory on the market, because the year end changes buyer and seller behaviours, their focus shifts to holidays and winter weather. One unknown influence that may play on the winter market is the upcoming mortgage stress test. Some buyers may move their purchasing timelines forward to make their home purchases before the stress test on uninsured buyers (those with a down payment of 20 per cent or more) becomes required January 1.”

 

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 1,364 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 2017 News

Victoria Real Estate Market Changes Tempo for Autumn

Oct 2, 2017

A total of 640 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this September, 18.1 per cent fewer than the 781 properties sold in September last year.

“We can certainly feel the difference in the current market when we compare to last year’s record breaking numbers. Last year the pace of the market was intense, there was a lot of pressure on pricing and demand,” notes Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. “Now the tempo of the market is trending slowly – very slowly – towards more balanced conditions. Recently we’ve seen overall price increases level out, which can indicate slightly less demand, and inventory is building.”

There were 1,976 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of September 2017, an increase of 3.1 per cent compared to the month of August and 4.1 per cent fewer than the 2,061 active listings for sale at the end of September 2016.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in September 2016 was $742,200. The benchmark value for the same home in September 2017 has increased by 10.9 per cent to $823,100.

“Simply because we’ve seen sales drop from last year is not dire or unexpected news for our local real estate market.” adds President Balabanian. “The ten year average for sales in September is 573 properties and the month exceeded that average by more than ten per cent, which indicates we’re still in an active market. And of course there are neighbourhoods that are still tracking up in terms of value from last year. It’s for reasons like these that now more than ever it makes sense to seek the assistance of a local REALTOR® to sell or buy your home.”

VREB September 2017 News

Sept 1, 2017

A total of 736 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this August, 16.6 per cent fewer than the 883 properties sold in August last year.
“I admit to being a little surprised by the August numbers,” notes Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. “I expected inventory numbers to be climbing by now, but instead we’ve seen even lower numbers of listings on the market. This is likely leading to some buyer fatigue along with pressure on pricing in high demand areas.”

There were 1,917 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of August 2017, a decrease of four properties compared to the month of July, and 8.5 per cent fewer than the 2,094 active listings for sale at the end of August 2016.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in August 2016 was $743,200. The benchmark value for the same home in August 2017 has increased by 10.8 per cent to $823,100. 

“Though much too early to call a trend, we do see that the August HPI benchmark value for single family homes in the Victoria Core area has decreased by 1.3 per cent when compared to July. This is the first time we’ve noted a decrease in HPI values since August 2015.” adds President Balabanian. “That said, this is not an indicator of a huge change in property values across our region. We’ve seen a phenomenally busy two years in real estate for our area and we are likely heading towards a period of more balanced activity. Note too, that though the overall HPI value shows a small month over month decrease – specific areas and specific types of product have seen increases. For example, condominiums across the entire region are up by half a percent compared to the previous month and single family homes in North Saanich have increased in benchmark value by almost one per cent. It’s for reasons like these that now more than ever it makes sense to seek the assistance of a local REALTOR® to sell or buy your home.”

VREB August 2017 News

Victoria Real Estate Market Remains Hot Into the Summer Months

Aug 1, 2017 – “The activity level in the Victoria real estate market continues to be brisk, though we always expect a slowdown in the summer months,” says 2017 Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. “This July, we saw a strong focus on the lower priced end of the market, with condos and townhomes and single family homes listed for under $700,000 in high demand. Many of those properties saw multiple offer situations.”

A total of 790 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this July, 18.7 per cent fewer than the 972 properties sold in July last year.

“The ten year average for sales in July is just over 700 properties,” adds President Balabanian. “So the numbers from last month illustrate an ongoing demand for homes in Victoria. We anticipated at the beginning of the year that we would see another busy market – without the record breaking numbers we saw in 2016 – and we are seeing exactly that. The surprise has been the low inventory levels, with listings for sale consistently below 2,000. The good news is that compared to the start of the year we have 26.7 per cent more listings on the market, but that supply is still lower than we expected, which puts pressure on pricing and availability.”

There were 1,921 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of July 2017, an increase of 0.3 per cent compared to the month of June, but 11.1 per cent fewer than the 2,161 active listings for sale at the end of July 2016.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the
Victoria Core in July 2016 was $737,800. The benchmark value for the same home in July 2017 has increased by 13.1 per cent to $834,200

VREB July 2017 News

Victoria Real Estate Market Continues Tempo of Steady Sales Throughout June

July 4, 2017 – “This year may feel a bit steady and less exciting when compared to last year’s
record-breaking market. People are getting used to this new tempo of brisk sales,” says 2017
Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. “However, when we look at the longer term numbers, we’re in a very active market. This June we counted over one thousand properties sold, while the ten year average for sales in the month of June is 798. If we remove 2016 sales, this June would have been the record breaker.”

A total of 1,008 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this June, 14.1 per cent
fewer than the 1,174 properties sold in June last year.

There were 1,915 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of June 2017, an increase of one per cent compared to the month of May, but 16.3 per cent fewer than the 2,289 active listings for sale at the end of June 2016.

“The good news for buyers is that inventory is slowly starting to build,” adds President Balabanian. “But buyers can still anticipate multiple offer scenarios in certain high demand neighbourhoods where inventory is being bought at a more rapid pace. It’s never been a better time to be a seller, with MLS® Home Price Index prices at a record high for the Victoria Core.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the
Victoria Core in June 2016 was $721,000. The benchmark value for the same home in June 2017
has increased by 15.1 per cent to $829,600.