VREB May 2020 News

May 1st, 2020

Victoria Spring market far from the usual as real estate continues to react to pandemic .
  A total of 287 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 58.8 per cent fewer than the 696 properties sold in April 2019 and 52.8 per cent fewer than the previous month of March 2020. Sales of condominiums were down 64 per cent from April 2019 with 73 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 55.8 per cent from April 2019 with 163 sold.

“We continue to see the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local real estate market,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “Sales numbers are much lower than what we expected to see this spring and new listings are slow to come to market as owners wait to see what our community’s trajectory is over the course of this pandemic. As a result, the available inventory of properties for sale remains lower than in April last year. Like so many other industries, much of the real estate market is watching, waiting and adapting.”

There were 2,305 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2020, 16.2 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of April 2019 but a 2.4 per cent increase from the 2,252 active listings for sale at the end of March 2020.

“Real estate services and REALTORS® were declared an essential service by our province in March in order to protect consumers who need to make real estate transactions during this time,” adds Ayers. “This responsibility has opened opportunities for our profession to adapt our way of doing business to ensure our community’s health is protected. Technology has allowed us to move much of our work online. Now you can participate in an open house from the comfort of your couch and manage your contracts and negotiations securely online. Of course, the vast majority of transactions still require an in-person showing at some point and so local Realtors are ensuring they are adhering to the advice of the Provincial Health Officer. We know that we are in complex times, but also that some people need to buy and sell. Our message has been and will be moving forward – if you need us, we are here.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2019 was $843,500. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2020 increased by 4.6 per cent to $882,700, 0.6 per cent more than March’s value of $877,700. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in April 2019 was $512,700 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in April 2020 increased by 3.5 per cent to $530,700, 0.2 per cent less than the March value of $531,900.

VREB April 2020 News

Victoria real estate spring market will be impacted by COVID-19

April 1, 2020  A total of 608 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, five per cent fewer than the 640 properties sold in March 2019 but eight per cent more than the previous month of February 2020. Sales of condominiums were down 9.2 per cent from March 2019 with 178 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 5.3 per cent from March 2019 with 305 sold.

“Last month, we stated that we saw the spring market kicking off,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “The start of March continued that trend and we saw higher year over year sales for the first weeks of the month – spring had officially sprung with multiple offers, new listings and sales. And then the world changed. Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, we have tracked a predictable downturn of sales in our market. Moving forward it is hard to predict what our spring market will look like, but it will likely be very different than recent years as our entire community slows down to stay healthy.”

There were 2,252 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March 2020, 7.5 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of March 2019 but a 5.9 per cent increase from the 2,127 active listings for sale at the end of February 2020.

“Right now, it is not business as usual,” adds Ayers. “Our REALTORS® are working to ensure that services for clients who need them are delivered in a healthy, safe and secure way. Our industry is working with government stakeholders to make sure that transactions that were underway before the pandemic was declared are protected and that homeowners are able to complete sales and purchases. This is a time to ensure our clients are safeguarded as well as to ensure that our community stays healthy. Many Realtors are leveraging new technologies including video home tours and virtual showings. Our message is – if you need us, we are here.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2019 was $836,100. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2020 increased by five per cent to $877,700, 1.1 per cent more than February’s value of $868,100. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in March 2019 was $507,700 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in March 2020 increased by 4.8 per cent to $531,900, 0.9 per cent more than the February value of $527,400.

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 1,387 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 March 2020 News

Victoria real estate market shakes off winter doldrums

March 2, 2020  A total of 563 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 33.7 per cent more than the 421 properties sold in February 2019 and 37 per cent more than in January 2020. Sales of condominiums were up 35.7 per cent from February 2019 with 175 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 23.7 per cent from January 2020 with 271 sold.

“February brought the bloom of an early spring market,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “Sales numbers are up substantially from last year, which in part indicates that our spring market may have arrived a bit earlier than a lot of our local blossoms. Additionally, we need to consider that last year’s sales activity was quite weak until April and May. Despite a thirty plus percent increase in total sales over last year, our ten-year average for total sales in February is 537, so we are within less than five per cent of our long-term average for the month.”

There were 2,127 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2020, 4 properties fewer than the total available at the end of February 2019 and an 8.6 per cent increase from the 1,958 active listings for sale at the end of January 2020.

“One of the most prominent aspects of our market right now is this continued low inventory,” adds Ayers. “Our ten-year average active listings for the month of February is 3,007. We concluded this month with just over 2,000 active listings, which means a lot less choice for consumers, more pressure on pricing and multiple offers.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2019 was $838,800. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2020 increased by 3.5 per cent to $868,100, 1.1 per cent more than January’s value of $858,500. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in February 2019 was $503,600 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in February 2020 increased by 4.7 per cent to $527,400, 1.2 per cent more than the January value of $521,000.

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 1,387 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 2020 News

February 3, 2020

Victoria real estate market returns to traditional sales numbers, but low inventory persists

A total of 411 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 24.9 per cent more than the 329 properties sold in January 2019 and 2.2 per cent more than in December 2019. Sales of condominiums were up 6.3 per cent from January 2019 with 118 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 31.6 per cent from January 2019 with 200 sold.

“Our new year is already showing a strong distinction from the year previous,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “We’ve returned to more traditional January sales numbers – which tend to be over 400 sales. Unfortunately, we have not seen a corresponding increase in listings alongside the demand, so buyers in the low- to mid-price segment of our market may find themselves in competition for desirable properties. Our market is challenging and at times like these the services of your local REALTOR® are invaluable.”

There were 1,958 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2020, 6 properties more than the total available at the end of December 2019 and a 4.8 per cent decrease from the 2,057 active listings for sale at the end of January 2019.

“Pressure on our market has been slowly returning,” adds Ayers. “With not enough inventory to satisfy demand, people occupying the middle rung of our property ladder have limited options – which means less movement to make room for those hoping to move or to buy their first homes. Eighteen months ago, the provincial and federal governments introduced demand side measures, which we can now see have not been successful in making homes more attainable in our community. Since demand side measures aren’t working, the Board hopes that all levels of government will turn their attention to supply. Our municipalities working with developers to cut red tape and reduce costs should help to introduce more housing opportunities and alleviate some pressure.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January 2019 was $846,900. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2020 increased by 1.4 per cent to $858,500, 0.4 per cent more than December’s value of $855,000. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in January 2019 was $500,500, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in January 2020 increased by 4.1 per cent to $521,100, slightly more than the December value of $520,700.

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 1,380 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 2020 News

Victoria Real Estate Market wraps up a relatively flat year for home sales

A total of 402 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 7.2 per cent more than the 375 properties sold in December 2018 and a 30.3 per cent decrease from November 2019. Sales of condominiums were up 17.5 per cent from December 2018 with 121 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 13.8 per cent from December 2018 with 198 sold.

A grand total of 7,255 properties sold over the course of 2019, 1.47 percent more than the 7,150 that sold in 2018. 2019 sales came in at slightly under the ten-year average of 7,413 properties sold.

“Overall, our market throughout 2019 can be characterized as still active, slow to grow and low in supply,” says 2019 Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “Last year we saw many prospective buyers sit on the sidelines waiting for inventory to be added. As a result of this unmet demand, there was and continues to be a push from consumers to create townhomes and condos at accessible price points. We began 2019 discussing the potential impact of various taxes and lending rules introduced by the federal and provincial governments that were designed to calm housing market activity – although this activity had already begun to slow following our hyper-active market in 2016/17. The most impactful government change we saw was the tighter mortgage lending rules, which lowered consumer borrowing power and made many unable to qualify for the value of mortgages they had in the past, therefore compressing more demand into our mid- and lower-priced property market.”

There were 1,952 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2019, a decrease of 18.6 per cent compared to the month of November and a 1.8 per cent decrease from the 1,988 active listings for sale at the end of December 2018.  

“Constant demand on this middle housing segment has put a moderate amount of pressure on pricing,” adds Woolley. “And although we did not see huge price increases though 2019 like we did in the run up through 2016, we do see buyers entering into multiple offer situations and competing for properties. The high end of the market – over $1.5 million – has been softer, which is nice for a very small percentage of buyers in our area, but difficult on sellers who have seen some equity erode. The theme heading into 2020 does for now appear to be the limited selection of single-family homes and growth in pressure for more condos and townhomes. What remains consistent is that in this complex market, buyers and sellers value the assistance of their REALTOR® to navigate one of the biggest purchases most will make in their lifetime.”  

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2018 was $860,400. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2019 decreased by 0.6 per cent to $855,000, slightly less than November’s value of $855,400. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in December 2018 was $503,000, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in December 2019 increased by 3.5 per cent to $520,700, slightly more than the November value of $517,000.

VREB December 2019 News

December 2, 2019

Victoria Real Estate market remains competitive

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.

VREB November 2019 News

November 1, 2019

Victoria Real Estate market impacted by low inventory, consistent demand

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.

“This month’s overall numbers are very similar to the numbers we saw last year,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “It’s interesting that last month we saw a large uptick in condo sales, but this month is fairly flat when compared to last year. This shows that we are not yet seeing a trend in property types.”

There were 2,643 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2019, a decrease of 6.4 per cent compared to the month of September, but a 5.3 per cent increase from the 2,510 active listings for sale at the end of October 2018. “There has been a slight increase in our inventory from October last year,” adds Woolley. “The current inventory is likely not enough for home buyers to feel they have a lot more to choose from – which in turn puts pressure on pricing for homes in desirable locations and price points. It’s not uncommon to see multiple offers in many of our market segments. Your local Realtor will be able to help you understand the intricacies of our current market and what you can expect at the time you decide to buy or sell a home.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in October 2018 was $878,900. The benchmark value for the same home in October 2019 decreased by 2.4 per cent to $857,700, slightly more than September’s value of $846,500. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in October 2018 was $503,200, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in October 2019 increased by 1.7 per cent to $511,600, the same as September’s value.

VREB October 2019 News

Victoria Real Estate Market shows increased interest in condos and townhomes

October 1, 2019  A total of 616 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this September, 15.6 per cent more than the 533 properties sold in September 2018 but a 6.8 per cent decrease from August 2019. Sales of condominiums were up 48.3 per cent from September 2018 with 221 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 1.1 per cent from September 2018 with 282 sold.

“September’s statistics clearly demonstrate that Victoria continues to have a stable real estate sector and is a desirable place to live,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “While sales are up compared to the same month last year, our inventory remains low, which may create challenges for people trying to get into the market in certain categories.”

There were 2,823 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of September 2019, a decrease of 0.5 per cent compared to the month of August but a 6.7 per cent increase from the 2,646 active listings for sale at the end of September 2018.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in September 2018 was $878,500. The benchmark value for the same home in September 2019 decreased by 3.6 per cent to $846,500, slightly less than August’s value of $847,300. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in September 2018 was $503,600, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in September 2019 increased by 1.6 per cent to $511,600, lower than August’s value of $518,100.

“We saw increased activity in the condo and townhouse market with an almost 50 per cent year-over-year sales increase in condos,” adds President Woolley. “It may be too early to call this a trend towards condo purchases, but this is a number to watch through the fall to see if buyers continue opting for condos and townhomes as more new developments are added to the market in highly desirable locations, with price points often lower than a single family home.”

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 1,383 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 2019 News

Victoria real estate summer sales and inventory levels follow historic patterns

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.”

VREB August 2019 News

A steady Greater Victoria area real estate market continues into summer

August 1, 2019  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.”