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.

VREB July 2016 News

Competitive Pricing Still Key in Victoria’s Hot Real Estate Market

July 4 2016, Victoria, BC

A total of 1,174 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this June, an increase of 29 per cent compared to the 910 properties sold in June last year.

“When we look at month over month numbers, sales are down almost 9 per cent in June compared to the record breaking sales we saw in May, which may be due to the very low inventory available,” notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. “It’s likely that sales would be higher were there more on the market to buy, but with the current conditions people may be hesitant to give up the homes they have.”

Inventory levels remain lower than the year previous, with 2,289 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of June 2016, 42.8 per cent fewer than the 4,003 active listings at the end of June 2015.

“June marks the halfway point for 2016. By this time last year 4,282 properties had sold,” adds Nugent. “In the same six months this year, 6,181 properties have sold. If sales continue at a similar rate, we may meet the total sales from last year by the end of the summer. However, this may depend on available inventory, which continues to decrease.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in June, 2015 was $594,700. The benchmark value for the same home in June 2016 has increased by 21.9 per cent to $724,900.

“Even in this market, price and strategy are important,” says Nugent. “It’s smart to engage a local REALTOR® to identify a price point and marketing strategy to sell your property. We have seen many multiple offer situations and record breaking numbers in the past few months, but there are properties that sit unsold. Sellers trying to test the upper price limits in their specific range will find that buyers are as discerning as ever. Even in this market there is no guarantee of sale.”

VREB June 2016 News

Feverish Pace of Sales Continues in Victoria Real Estate Market

June 1, 2016 Victoria, BC

A total of 1,289 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this May, an increase of 42.4 per cent compared to the 905 properties sold in the same month last year.

Inventory levels remain lower than the previous year, with 2,406 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of May, 40.5 per cent fewer than the 4,043 active listings at the end of May 2015.

“These are very interesting times in local real estate,” notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. “The market we are experiencing has exceeded our expectations. There are influences in the marketplace that we do not fully understand yet, like the impact of out-of-town buyers and millenials moving into the market, and the seemingly sudden international attention our island city has started to receive. And some folks may be buying now because they are concerned that the market is going to continue to increase in value. Traditionally spring is the most active season for real estate, so it will be interesting to see if this feverish pace continues into the summer months.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in May, 2015 was $593,200. The benchmark value for the same home in May 2016 has increased by 19 per cent to $706,500.

“We define months of inventory as the number of months it would take to sell our entire inventory of active listings at the current rate of sales if no new listings became available. In May last year we had 4.5 months of inventory and in May 2014 we saw 6.5 months. This year, May had 1.9 months of inventory. Last year in June we saw 4.4 months of inventory, so if the pattern continues we may see less inventory than in previous years. Current low inventory dictates that pressures moving prices up could well remain strong, particularly in the core region. It can be a challenging time to get into the market,” adds Nugent. “As always, a local REALTOR® can help buyers with a strategy to get into a home and can help sellers to create a pricing plan to best reflect the current value of their property. Our Realtors have access to regular education on best practices, including how to navigate multiple offers, which is something many buyers encounter as they shop for houses in some of our more popular neighbourhoods. I think the key right now is to be patient, consider options like different neighbourhoods or types of housing and to prepare with your Realtor as much as possible ahead of time so that you are best positioned to make your move.”

VREB May 2016 News

April Property Sales in Victoria Continue to Exceed Expectations

May 2, 2016 Victoria, BC

A total of 1,286 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, an increase of 53 per cent compared to the 840 properties sold in the same month last year.

Inventory levels remain lower than the previous year, with 2,594 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April, 34 per cent fewer than the 3,945 active listings at the end of April 2015.

“We continue to see extraordinary interest in the Victoria and area housing market. Likely this is because the trends we reviewed last month continue – low mortgage rates, higher employment numbers, diversity of properties for sale and of course the growing international awareness that Victoria is an amazing place to live,” notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. “The vast majority of Victoria buyers are from within the local Victoria marketplace. Last year 70.5 per cent of buyers were from Victoria, and this year in the first quarter we see 72.5 per cent of buyers from the area. We’ve also tracked a slight increase in Lower Mainland buyers. Reports from the first quarter of 2016 show that 8.2 per cent of buyers are from the Lower Mainland, and last year we counted 7.4 per cent. It’s also noteworthy that we’ve seen a decrease in buyers from Alberta (last year we saw 5.7 per cent, this quarter we saw 3.9 per cent), a small increase in buyers from the US (from 0.8 per cent to 1 per cent) and an increase in buyers from Asia (from 0.7 per cent to 0.8 per cent this quarter).”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April, 2015 was $581,700. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2016 has increased by 17.7 per cent to $684,900.

“If you are shopping for a home right now, there is a good chance that if you’re looking in a higher demand area (Victoria core, Saanich, Oak Bay) you may find yourself in a multiple offer situation when you go to purchase. This is because there are more buyers than homes for sale and so the market is more competitive than we’ve seen in years past,” adds Nugent. “As a consumer it may pay to get creative, consider types of property and locations you may have not originally identified. For example, condos and townhomes may be a great alternative for first time buyers. Some locations in the Victoria area are under slightly less pricing pressure, for example properties in the West Shore or Esquimalt area are close to amenities, share the same amazing weather as other nearby neighbourhoods. Working with a REALTOR® to create a purchase strategy will put you ahead of the game, and ensure you end up with the right property for you.”

VREB April 2016 News

Another Busy Month in the Victoria Real Estate Market

April 1, 2016 Victoria BC – The Victoria Real Estate Board today released its report on Multiple Listing Service® real estate activity in the Victoria area for the month of March 2016.

A total of 1,121 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, an increase of 52.7 per cent compared to the 734 properties sold in the same month last year.

Inventory levels remain lower than the previous year, with 2,618 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March, 30.5 per cent fewer than the 3,769 active listings at the end of March 2015.

“I think the strong uptick in the market has surprised many of us! The business cycles of real estate are affected by economic drivers and it’s clear that this cycle has all possible drivers running at top speed. Many different factors may be contributing to this activity,” notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. “Pent up demand from the slower years of 2008 to 2013, lower than historic mortgage rates, strong interest from out of town buyers, a buoyant economy that’s attracting job seekers and the lifestyle and beauty that Victoria and area offers all contribute to the activity we’ve seen this year.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2015 was $569,700. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2016 has increased by 16.4 per cent to $663,300.

“Though we represent a relatively small geographic area, there is variation in price and inventory in different neighbourhoods,” adds Nugent. “Areas near the downtown core continue to see high demand for houses and condos, as do most areas in the Peninsula. The West Shore has also strengthened considerably but pricing remains lower than in the core because there has been more inventory to meet demand. Further out of town there has been less demand, but overall all areas have now strengthened in sales. More than ever I encourage buyers and sellers to connect with a local REALTOR® to develop a strategic approach in this fast moving market.”