Category Archives: News

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 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 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.”

VREB March 2016 News

February Sales Expose Extraordinary Demand for Victoria Area Properties

March 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 February 2016.

A total of 772 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, an increase of 42.4 per cent compared to the 542 properties sold in the same month last year. Inventory levels are lower than the previous year, with 2,562 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February, 26.4 per cent fewer than the 3,480 active listings at the end of February 2015.

“We continue to see the effect of supply and demand on the market,” notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. “Areas near the downtown core have limited inventory, with less new product coming on to the market. As a result we see more pressure on pricing there, and we see multiple offers. The West Shore and outlying areas have new housing developments coming into the market. Sales are brisk everywhere, but less competition is created in areas like the West Shore because of the area’s ability to create supply to meet demand. We’ll likely see more first time home buyers look to make purchases in outlying areas. The West Shore benchmark for a single family home right now is $432,600, which makes the area more affordable than the Victoria core, where the benchmark value is $200,000 more for a single family home.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February, 2015 was $557,000. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2016 has increased by 14.7 per cent to $638,700.

“I’d highly recommend that sellers and buyers who are thinking of making a move in the future engage the services of a REALTOR®,” adds Nugent. “Your Realtor can help navigate the decision-making process and ensure you have access to information and advice based on current market conditions. In a busy market like we see now, your Realtor’s expertise can be the difference between a beautiful new home and a potentially frustrating and costly exercise.”

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 over 1,200 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 2016 News

An Early Spring for the Victoria Real Estate Market?

February 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 January 2016.

2016 started with the busiest month of sales in January since 2002. A total of 539 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, an increase of 53.6 per cent compared to the 351 properties sold in the same month last year.

Inventory levels are lower than the previous year, with 2,471 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January, 24.7 per cent fewer than the 3,283 active listings at the end of January 2015.

“Though the ongoing count of properties for sale is low, the number of new listings entering the market is close to what we saw last year,” notes Wendy Moreton, 2016 president of the board. “The recent month of January saw 934 new listings, where last year we saw 1,027. The good news for buyers is that there are new properties for sale every day. The good news for sellers is that there appears to be more buyers in the market, so well-priced properties in high demand areas (like the Victoria core) are swift sellers.”

“Last year we saw the traditionally busy spring market start early as sales picked up over February and March,” adds Moreton. “This year that spring market may be starting even earlier, as our sales numbers for January are close to the numbers we saw last February. We’ll watch this trend over the next few months. This busy market is the perfect time to enlist the help of your local REALTOR®. Realtors have access to up-to-date trends for all the different markets across the Greater Victoria area and can best assist buyers and sellers to navigate this exciting market.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January, 2015 was $561,600. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2016 has increased by 10.2 per cent to $618,600.