Category Archives: News

VREB September 2022 News

Less pressure on buyers in August in the Victoria real estate market

A total of 478 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this August, 42.5 per cent fewer than the 831 properties sold in August 2021 and a 6.3 per cent decrease from July 2022. Sales of condominiums were down 57.1 per cent from August 2021 with 148 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 30.3 per cent from August 2021 with 249 sold.

“August is typically one of the slower months for real estate in the Greater Victoria area and this year was no exception,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Karen Dinnie-Smyth. “After two years of market conditions that favoured home sellers, sales have diminished in the past few months and inventory levels have been slowly increasing.”

There were 2,137 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of August 2022, a decrease of 1.2 per cent compared to the previous month of July but a 90.8 per cent increase from the 1,120 active listings for sale at the end of August 2021.

“One of the metrics we watch when we look at the market is the sales to active listings ratio – this is the percentage of available listings that have sold over the course of the month, which helps indicate the balance of supply and demand,” adds President Dinnie-Smyth. “A high percentage means more of the available listings have sold, which shows a high buyer demand and that’s generally a favourable market for sellers. The lower the percentage, the more properties available. In general, we look at the 15 to 20 per cent range as a balanced market. Right now, the ratio is 28.14 per cent, while at this time in 2021 we were at 94.91 per cent. We continue to trend towards a more balanced market. As conditions change, connect with your trusted REALTOR® to understand how your selling and buying plans fit into the current market.” The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in August 2021 was $1,201,400. The benchmark value for the same home in August 2022 increased by 15.8 per cent to $1,391,700 but was down 2.9 per cent from July’s value of $1,433,400. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in August 2021 was $509,000, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in August 2022 increased by 22.2 per cent to $621,900, down by 2.8 per cent from the July value of $639,900.

VREB August 2022 News

Shift in Victoria Real Estate market brings more time for buyers and sellers

August 2, 2022 A total of 510 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this July, 38.9 per cent fewer than the 835 properties sold in July 2021 and a 16.7 per cent decrease from June 2022. Sales of condominiums were down 39.4 per cent from July 2021 with 172 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 35.9 per cent from July 2021 with 254 sold.

“We’d previously indicated a shift in the local housing market,” said 2022 VREB President Karen Dinnie-Smyth. “This continued be the case in July as sales dipped, and we saw fewer listings come to the market, with more of the existing inventory remaining for sale. This slowdown means a calmer and more friendly environment with time for decision-making, which benefits sellers and buyers and will be a relief to many.”

There were 2,162 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of July 2022, an increase of 5 per cent compared to the previous month of June and a 70.2 per cent increase from the 1,270 active listings for sale at the end of July 2021.

“As a result of the higher interest rates and inflation occurring right now, we see fluctuations in price and availability,” adds President Dinnie-Smyth. “Values will rise and fall over time, and historically local real estate values slowly increase over time, which means despite month-to-month variations, if you are buying a home, you have a sound, long-term investment. We need to remember that people don’t buy and sell on a month-to-month basis and that in the larger scheme of things, housing is more than numbers. A property is a place where people live their daily lives, raise their families, etc. It is more than a commodity, and for many it is the most important purchase they make in their lifetime. The government’s recent focus has been on demand-side mechanisms and other market modifiers such as a mandatory three-day cooling off period to start in 2023. A better long-term approach to housing affordability for our future is to address housing supply constraints which will be central to the next round of upward pressure on home prices. Consult with your REALTOR® to keep informed regarding current values and market conditions if you are in the market to buy or sell.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in July 2021 was $1,204,900. The benchmark value for the same home in July 2022 increased by 19 per cent to $1,433,800 but was down 2.1 per cent from June’s value of $1,464,400. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in July 2021 was $502,600, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in July 2022 increased by 27.3 per cent to $639,600, down by 0.5 per cent from the June value of $643,100.

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 1,590 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 July 2022 News

July 4, 2022

Victoria’s hot housing market levels off, supply still important for long-term attainability

A total of 612 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this June, 35 per cent fewer than the 942 properties sold in June 2021 and a 19.6 per cent decrease from May 2022. Sales of condominiums were down 40.2 per cent from June 2021 with 202 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 31.4 per cent from June 2021 with 302 sold.

“The market feels a bit more normal right now,” says Karen Dinnie-Smyth, 2022 Victoria Real Estate Board President. “We have seen more inventory come onto the market to the extent that we are back to numbers closer to those which we saw in pre-pandemic 2020. This is good news, as more inventory provides more choice and builds in more time for consumers to work with their REALTORS® to make decisions.”

There were 2,059 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of June 2022, an increase of 15.9 per cent compared to the previous month of May and a 49.7 per cent increase from the 1,375 active listings for sale at the end of June 2021.

“It may seem counterintuitive to continue to talk about the need for supply at a time when inventory is rising,” adds President Dinnie-Smyth. “We must keep the conversation alive, and we urge all levels of government to continue to aggressively address the housing supply situation. We need more supply of all types of housing. Not only do we remain on the lower side of longer-term historical averages of homes for sale, but there will be future challenges – changing interest rates, supply chain and labour constraints will hamper the ability to create new homes at a pace to meet future growth. New supply will be the key to future housing attainability in our community.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in June 2021 was $1,184,700. The benchmark value for the same home in June 2022 increased by 23.6 per cent to $1,464,400, up from May’s value of $1,446,400. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in June 2021 was $495,900 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in June 2022 increased by 29.7 per cent to $643,100, up from the May value of The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in June 2021 was $495,900 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in June 2022 increased by 29.7 per cent to $643,100, up from the May value of $633,800. $633,800.

VREB June 2022

June 1, 2022

Pace of the Greater Victoria real estate market steady into spring

A total of 761 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this May, 27.5 per cent fewer than the 1,049 properties sold in May 2021 and a 7.6 per cent decrease from April 2022. Sales of condominiums were down 23.1 per cent from May 2021 with 250 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 31.7 per cent from May 2021 with 367 sold.

“The real estate market in Greater Victoria is returning to a steadier pace following the strange two years we experienced over the course of the pandemic,” said 2022 Victoria Real Estate Board President Karen Dinnie-Smyth. “While inventory is still below historical levels for a spring market, it is now within our pre-pandemic five-year average, which is good news for buyers. The increase in inventory provides buyers with more options, and we are seeing market activity and price points differ within the unique neighbourhoods that make up Greater Victoria. During a changing market like the one we see now, it is more important than ever to have an expert on your side – whether you are buying or selling it’s a great time to give your favourite REALTOR® a call.”

There were 1,776 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of May 2022, an increase of 30.1 per cent compared to the previous month of April and a 22.5 per cent increase from the 1,450 active listings for sale at the end of May 2021.

“Looking to the future of the market, the Board has reviewed the British Columbia Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) report which the government requisitioned to guide the deployment of their cooling-off plan,” adds President Dinnie-Smyth. “We are aligned with BCFSA on the importance of consumer protection in real estate and see areas of the BCFSA report which reflect the Victoria Real Estate Board’s and the British Columbia Real Estate Association’s recommendations – specifically the concept of a five-day pre-offer period. However, the BCFSA report leaves detailed process and procedural questions unanswered. The government will need to do more consultation with industry stakeholders prior to implementation to ensure these changes are without negative consequences to consumers and to the market.”

VREB May 2022 News

Victoria New Construction

Spring is traditionally the busiest real estate season, but early on Victoria’s market sees a change

May 2, 2022  A total of 824 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 26.2 per cent fewer than the 1,116 properties sold in April 2021 and a 1.1 per cent decrease from March 2022. Sales of condominiums were down 20.8 per cent from April 2021 with 262 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 28.5 per cent from April 2021 with 403 sold.

“The past month concluded with notably lower sales when compared to April of last year,” said 2022 Victoria Real Estate Board President Karen Dinnie-Smyth. “This tells an interesting story because activity traditionally peaks over the course of the spring, and this year we have seen a gradual softening of the market. As we have reported many times in the past years, the market hinges on supply and demand. Rising interest rates and inflationary pressures on top of higher prices throughout the region have combined to introduce new market dynamics because of waning demand that consumers and their REALTORS® are now navigating. Our inventory levels remain well below historic averages, so prices remain buoyant because the supply is still much lower than this recent decrease in demand.”

There were 1,365 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2022, an increase of 28.4 per cent compared to the previous month of March but a 6.1 per cent decrease from the 1,454 active listings for sale at the end of April 2021.

“The market has made a pivot compared to the spring of 2021,” adds President Dinnie-Smyth. “However, we continue to see competition for lower priced homes and multiple offers are still very much a reality in our market and likely will be for some time. We are currently experiencing a lessening of demand, but that does not mean we can lose sight of the fact that our housing market needs more supply. We must continue to encourage the government and stakeholders to focus on building more homes and not on creating new rules such as a cooling-off period that have nothing to do with getting more people into homes and risk upward pressure on pricing. The market will continue to have corrections, both up and down, and government interventions must target more new doors for the long-term health of our housing market.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2021 was $997,500. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2022 increased by 26.9 per cent to $1,266,200, up from March’s value of $1,233,700. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in April 2021 was $513,100 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in April 2022 increased by 26.7 per cent to $650,200, up from the March value of $635,100.

VREB April 2022 News

April 1, 2022 Victoria real estate market continues to experience low inventory and high demand A total of 833 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, 29 per cent fewer than the 1,173 properties sold in March 2021 but a 16 per cent increase from February 2022. Sales of condominiums were down 26 per cent from March 2021 with 279 units sold.

Sales of single family homes decreased 28.2 per cent from March 2021 with 412 sold. “Once again, we have had a record breaker of a month,” said 2022 Victoria Real Estate Board President Karen Dinnie-Smyth. “This March had the lowest number of active listings we have seen in a month of March – beating last year’s record low. For context, in the past five years the average number of active listings at the end of March is 1,864 properties. This March had just over one thousand properties at month end. We did see more homes come to market this month compared to February – which is a positive sign – but our supply is still so constricted that multiple offers and competition continues, especially in the lower price ranges. We may see a lift in that pressure if more listings come to market over the spring, but since our inventory is so much lower than average, we have a long way to go to find balance.”

There were 1,063 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March 2022, an increase of 25.2 per cent compared to the previous month of February but an 18.9 per cent decrease from the 1,310 active listings for sale at the end of March 2021.

“March generally kicks off the busy spring real estate season,” adds President Dinnie-Smyth. “However, this month’s sales and listings may have been partly depressed by reasons beyond the market. After two spring breaks of COVID restrictions, it’s plausible that many prospective buyers and sellers put their plans on pause to travel. Looking forward, it is difficult to predict what this spring will look like as those buyers and sellers return to the market. Many factors – including rising interest rates, the government’s promise to apply new barriers to sales such as cooling-off periods, inflationary pressures and record high house prices – continue to make this a challenging market. If you are considering a move, a sale or both, it’s a good time to engage the assistance of a trusted local REALTOR® to help you navigate the complex landscape.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2021 was $968,500. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2022 increased by 27.4 per cent to $1,233,700, up from February’s value of $1,196,300. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in March 2021 was $497,000 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in March 2022 increased by 27.8 per cent to $635,100, up from the February value of $603,600.

VREB Mar 2022 News

Record Low Inventory Prevents Victoria Real Estate Market From Cooling Off
March 1, 2022  A total of 718 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 16.8 per cent fewer than the 863 properties sold in February 2021 but a 51.5 per cent increase from January 2021. Sales of condominiums were down 7.9 per cent from February 2021 with 267 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 20.8 per cent from February 2021 with 309 sold.

“It was heartening this month to see some more listings come to market in February,” said 2022 Victoria Real Estate Board President Karen Dinnie-Smyth. “However, inventory levels remain at record lows and without a strong government focus on increasing supply, buyers will continue to face escalating prices and difficult market conditions.”

There were 849 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2022, an increase of 14.1 per cent compared to the previous month of January but a 35.6 per cent decrease from the 1,318 active listings for sale at the end of February 2021.

“We have asked the government for strong solutions to create supply to bring our market back into balance,” adds President Dinnie-Smyth. “We need incentives for gentle densification and the removal of municipal barriers to development. What government has chosen to focus on instead is their announcement of a cooling-off period for residential sales this spring. They announced this measure with no industry consultation into how this may impact our housing market. The Victoria Real Estate Board and the British Columbia Real Estate Association have strongly recommended against a cooling-off period. Industry research shows that a cooling-off period will add volatility in both slow and pressurized market conditions. It provides no protection for home sellers and creates more risk and uncertainty for them when selling a home. Experienced and well-funded buyers will have an advantage over first-time buyers because a cooling-off period reduces negotiations to price alone. We have recommended alternative ideas for consumer protection – including the suggestion that a pre-sale offer period be introduced, which transcends market conditions and would better protect buyers and sellers while also mitigating the impact of pre-emptive offers. We hope our suggestions are taken seriously, they are a result of thorough research and consultation of hundreds of our local practitioners. Instead of discussing the British Columbia Real Estate Association’s recommendations yesterday, Finance Minister Selina Robinson chose to inform the public that REALTORS® have a vested interest in home prices. For Minister Robinson to suggest that Realtors are keeping prices high is a convenient excuse and a weak attempt to divert attention away from the real issue – supply. Realtors would prefer a balanced market with reasonable prices and plenty of housing supply to meet demand. Our Realtors’ only vested interest is in their clients and the more balanced our market is, the better we are able to serve the needs of buyers and sellers.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2021 was $948,500. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2022 increased by 26.1 per cent to $1,196,300, up from January’s value of $1,161,500. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in February 2021 was $494,200, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in February 2022 increased by 22.1 per cent to $603,600, up from the January value of $587,300.

VREB Feb 2022 News

Limited inventory continues to be key in Victoria real estate market

February 1, 2022  A total of 474 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 26.6 per cent fewer than the 646 properties sold in January 2021 but an 8.2 per cent increase from December 2021. Sales of condominiums were down 13 per cent from January 2021 with 188 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 39.7 per cent from January 2021 with 179 sold.

“A cursory glance at our sales numbers could lead to the quick conclusion that our market is slowing down,” says 2022 Victoria Real Estate Board President Karen Dinnie-Smyth. “But what we must consider is not only the number of homes that have sold, but also the number of homes which were for available for sale within the month. To put our inventory into context, last year broke the record for lowest inventory for the month of January. This January broke that record nearly in half and that lack of supply in the market really impacts what our end sales numbers are. Had we seen more homes for sale, it’s likely our result would have been many more sales.”

There were 744 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2022, an increase of 14.1 per cent compared to the previous month of December and a 43.7 per cent decrease from the 1,321 active listings for sale at the end of January 2021.

“As it stands, our market will be slow to change until our inventory levels perk up,” adds President Dinnie-Smyth. “This means we need to see supply added of all types of housing and we need to establish a sustainable source of supply into the upcoming years to meet growth. The reality of housing is that it takes years to add new numbers and until we are better able to meet demand, our market will be under pressure. With the constrained and fast paced market, it’s an excellent time to use the services of an experienced REALTOR®, one who can help you identify a strategy and process for selling or buying – or selling and buying – a new home.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January 2021 was $932,200. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2022 increased by 24.6 per cent to $1,161,500, up from December’s value of $1,144,900. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in January 2021 was $487,500, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in January 2022 increased by 20.5 per cent to $587,300, up from the December value of $570,600.

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 1,525 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 Nov 2021 News

November 1, 2021  A total of 745 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, 24.7 per cent fewer than the 990 properties sold in October 2020 and 2.1 per cent fewer than the previous month of September. Condominium sales were down 18.1 per cent from October 2020 with 249 units sold. 18.6 per cent fewer condominiums sold in October 2021 than in the previous month of September. Sales of single family homes were down 30.4 per cent from October 2020 with 339 sold. 2.4 per cent more single family homes sold in October 2021 than in the previous month of September.

“Once again – it’s anyone’s guess what our sales numbers would be like had we been in a market with a historically average number of homes for sale,” said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. “Over the previous ten years, the average number of properties for sale in October was 3,210 – we are one third of that this year. We continue to see record breaking low levels of homes for sale and with continuing competition for homes, we see pricing pressure persist.”

There were 1,036 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2021, 51.2 per cent fewer properties than the 2,122 available at the end of October 2020 and 7.8 per cent fewer properties than the 1,124 active listings for sale at the end of September 2021.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in October 2020 was $880,500. The benchmark value for the same home in October 2021 increased by 25.3 per cent to $1,103,600, a 0.3 per cent increase from the previous month of September. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in October 2020 was $482,200, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in October 2021 increased by 14.4 per cent to $551,800.

“The only solution to our current market is to create more supply,” added President Langlois. “And creating supply isn’t something that happens overnight, so we need to make a commitment to build in the coming years. That takes cooperation. It takes public acceptance of increased density in some areas, the ability for builders to staff and supply their developments and for investors to be able to make their plans a reality within a reasonable timeline and at a reasonable cost. We need to continue to focus on densification of our urban areas – the idea of encouraging duplexes and small plexes in neighbourhoods and building up in core areas. Thoughtful densification will allow us to protect our greenspace, leverage existing infrastructure and take advantage of existing amenities.”

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 1,503 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 Oct 2021 News

Oct 1, 2021

A greater commitment to development required to balance local housing market

A total of 761 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this September, 23.1 per cent fewer than the 989 properties sold in September 2020 and 8.4 per cent fewer than the previous month of August. Condominium sales were up 9.3 per cent from September 2020 with 306 units sold. 11.3 per cent fewer condominiums sold in September 2021 than in the previous month of August.

Sales of single family homes were down 38.6 per cent from September 2020 with 331 sold. 7.3 per cent fewer single family homes sold in September 2021 than in the previous month of August. “We are in a situation this month that is very similar to last month,” said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. “We have seen a lot of demand for homes of all types, but very little inventory come onto the market. And just like last month, it would be inaccurate to say that the market has slowed down and certainly an oversimplification to say the market is experiencing traditional seasonal slowing. What we are experiencing is a continued response to long-term low inventory levels.”

There were 1,124 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of September 2021, 53 per cent fewer properties than the 2,389 available at the end of September 2020 but four properties more than the 1,120 active listings for sale at the end of August 2021.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in September 2020 was $879,700. The benchmark value for the same home in September 2021 increased by 25.1 per cent to $1,100,200, a 1 per cent increase from the previous month of August. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in September 2020 was $482,000, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in September 2021 increased by 13.3 per cent to $545,900.

“It’s a complex market and it has been for some time here in Greater Victoria,” added President Langlois. “We have a lot of people who want to share in this wonderful community, but we do not have the homes to answer the demand at all points in the housing spectrum. Adding more inventory – be it rental or market housing – requires a commitment to building from our community members. If you support more homes, you need to vocally support projects coming through your local municipal council. Many amazing developments never happen or are buried in expense, which adds to the end cost, before they make it through years of permitting because of opposition at public reviews – often by a small but vocal minority. In order to stop our cycle of pressure on pricing due to limited supply, our community must choose to commit to new housing or commit to prices escalating further.”