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Market Updates

January 2019 Victoria BC Real Estate Market Conditions

Victoria Real Estate Market's cool conditions continue

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A total of 329 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 23.7 per cent fewer than the 431 properties sold in January 2018 and a 12.3 per cent decrease from December 2018. Sales of condominiums were down 5.9 per cent from January 2018 with 111 units sold but were up from December 2018 by 7.8 per cent. Sales of single family homes were down 29.3 per cent from January 2018 with 152 sold.

"It's already an interesting year for local real estate. REALTORS® are keeping busy showing homes and writing offers, however actual sales are slower than we would expect in an average January," says 2019 Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. "There are many reasons consumers are hesitant to purchase "For instance, changes to mortgage lending rules have decreased the amount of funds buyers can qualify for by up to twenty-five per cent. In turn, some consumers are re-evaluating their expectations and looking at condos and townhomes rather than single family homes; or they are looking at single family homes further outside the core. As well, many buyers appear to be waiting for new inventory to open up, while sellers are watching the market closely to see what their homes are worth and what the spring market may bring."

There were 2,057 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2019, an increase of 3.5 per cent compared to the month of December and a 38 per cent increase from the 1,491 active listings for sale at the end of January 2018.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January 2018 was $840,100. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2019 increased by 0.9 per cent to $847,800, lower than December's value of $858,600. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in January 2018 was $471,300, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in January 2019 increased by 6 per cent to $499,700, slightly lower than December's value of $502,400.

"Over the past few years, demand in Greater Victoria has outstripped supply, putting upward pressure on pricing. While many of the new developments proposed for our region are being built for much needed rental and social housing units, it will provide little relief for buyers who are caught in the pinch between tougher lending rules and higher prices," adds President Woolley. "Moving forward, we anticipate continued interest in our region as people gravitate towards our mild climate, beautiful amenities and the lifestyle Greater Victoria offers."

December 2018 Victoria BC Real Estate Market Conditions

Victoria Real Estate Market responds as expected to the changing market conditions of 2018

A total of 375 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 18.8 per cent fewer than the 462 properties sold in December 2017 and a 24.7 per cent decrease from November 2018. Sales of condominiums were down 24.3 per cent from 2017 in December with 103 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 26.6 per cent from December 2017 with 174 sold.

A grand total of 7,150 properties sold over the course of 2018, 20 per cent fewer than the 8,994 sold in 2017. 2018 sales came in very close to the ten-year average of 7,351 properties sold. Condominium sales totalled 2,162 in 2018, compared to 2,783 in 2017. Single family home sales were down from 4,069 in 2017 to 3,187 in 2018.

"The story arc in real estate this year has been the impact of government influence on a market which was showing signs of levelling out through the latter part of 2017," says outgoing Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "All levels of government turned their focus to try to make housing more affordable and attainable across the property spectrum. The federal government's change to mortgage lending qualification rules this year meant many consumers lost 20 per cent of their purchasing power, which contributed to slowing down the pace of the market. On a municipal level, we saw many councils activating how they can influence affordable housing by leveraging current land assets, acquiring new land and creating partnerships to bring new affordable units to market - and that's a very exciting thing for our market in the long term. The provincial government has also promised huge investments into new affordable developments. These developments are important to the long-term growth of our community, because the only way to make more affordable housing in our area is to build it."

There were 1,988 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2018, a decrease of 15.2 per cent compared to the month of November but 43.6 per cent more than the 1,384 active listings for sale at the end of December 2017.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2017 was $832,000. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2018 increased by 3.2 per cent to $858,600, lower than November's value of $865,200. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in December 2017 was $464,300, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in December 2018 increased by 8.2 per cent to $502,400, slightly more than November's value of $500,500.

"The market in 2019 will continue to be quieter than in previous years, as buyers and sellers adjust to new market conditions and government policies," adds President Kerr. "Inventory is still quite low when you look at a longer range, which will continue to put pressure on pricing. Our overall economy is predicted to slow slightly, and that will likely mean a slower increase in interest rates but also slower growth. The good news is that savvy buyers will have more time to find their new homes, and that sellers will be under less pressure if they are planning to move within our market. Remember in evolving markets like ours, it's important to enlist the services of a REALTOR® to help you navigate what may be your largest transaction ever."

November 2018 Victoria BC Real Estate Market Conditions

The Victoria real estate market chills out for winter

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A total of 498 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this November, 25.8 per cent fewer than the 671 properties sold in November of last year and a 16.7 per cent decrease from October 2018. Sales of condominiums were down 30.9 per cent from last year in November with 152 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 20.8 per cent from 2017 with 267 sold this November.

"We certainly anticipated a difference this year in terms of sales for November compared to last year," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "This time last year, the government announced plans to change mortgage lending qualification rules and our market saw a rush of activity as buyers tried to beat that new lending criteria which was rolled out January first. Our ten-year average of units sold for the month of November is 515, which is likely a better comparison than to the unusual market conditions we saw last year."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in November 2017 was $832,800, while the benchmark value for the same home in November 2018 increased by 3.9 per cent to $865,200, lower than October's value of $881,000. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in November 2017 was $456,200, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in November 2018 increased by 9.7 per cent to $500,500, slightly less than October's value of $502,600.

There were a total of 2,343 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of November 2018, an increase of 32.8 per cent compared to November 2017 but 6.7 per cent fewer than the month previous.

"Inventory continues to be low compared to historic averages," adds President Kerr. "The ten-year average for active inventory in November is 3,204, so although it has improved compared to last year, we are still low on choice for buyers. At the same time, waning demand has meant that there is less urgency in our market right now, which can benefit buyers and sellers. The market tends to naturally slow down in the winter, so I'd expect we will have a more balanced market heading into the new year."

October 2018 Victoria BC Real Estate Market Conditions

The Victoria real estate market's return to balance not linear, but also not unexpected

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A total of 598 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, 9.9 per cent fewer than the 664 properties sold in October of last year, but a 12.2 per cent increase from September 2018. Sales of condominiums were down 15.5 per cent from last year in October with 180 units sold, but up 20.8 per cent when compared to September 2018. Sales of single family homes were down 14.7 per cent from 2017 with 289 sold this October, 1.4 per cent more than the previous month.

"We continue to see the housing market shift into a more balanced state, though the trajectory is not smooth," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "This month had slower sales compared to last year and a slightly lower level of inventory coming into the market, but it also had an increase in sales from last month, which may surprise some people. The moderating changes over last year have been punctuated with some competition and price pressure on lower and mid-priced homes while the upper end of the market has softened slightly. Right now pricing is key across all segments as we transition to a more balanced market."

There were a total of 2,510 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2018, an increase of 31.8 per cent compared to October 2017 but 5.1 per cent fewer than the month previous.

"The market is definitely reacting to the changes in mortgage lending requirements," adds President Kerr. "Lending was made tougher to dampen the market and these measures have certainly had an impact on purchasing power. The threat of the looming Speculation and Vacancy tax has also cooled development in our area, which is unfortunate because the only way to create affordable homes in our area is to build them. We hope that moving forward the municipal, provincial and federal governments will work collaboratively to enable more supply at all levels of housing by funding public / private partnerships to support the increase of home stock in our area. We hope that aside from taxation and mortgage rules, governments will work together to ensure a future supply in our area to stabilize prices in the long term."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in October 2017 was $830,100, while the benchmark value for the same home in October 2018 increased by 6.1 per cent to $881,000, slightly lower than September's value of $883,700. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in October 2017 was $457,500, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in October 2018 increased by 9.86 per cent to $502,600, slightly less than September's value of $503,000.

September 2018 Victoria BC Real Estate Market Conditions

Victoria Real Estate Market Continues to Stabilize

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A total of 533 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this September, 16.7 per cent fewer than the 640 properties sold in September of last year, and a 10.3 per cent decrease from August 2018. Sales of condominiums were down 30.4 per cent from last year in September with 149 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 9.2 per cent from 2017 with 285 sold this September.

"This year's housing market has continued to behave as we've expected, moderating after the record setting pace of 2016 and adjusting to various government measures such as tightening mortgage qualification rules that were intended to cool the market," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "We continue to see a reduction in sales when we compare to recent years and prices stabilizing across the market, with some variation in value in niche, higher end homes."

There were a total of 2,646 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of September 2018, an increase of 5 per cent compared to the month of August and 33.9 per cent more than the 1,976 active listings for sale at the end of September 2017.

"If you are considering buying or selling a home, you need to understand your local market, particularly in the context of your property type and price point," adds President Kerr. "Micro markets in our area behave very differently as they are influenced by different pressures. The under $800,000 housing market in some areas is under tremendous pressure as many buyers compete for these homes. The multimillion-dollar market in other areas is currently experiencing less pressure and we can see price flexibility coming into play in the 1.5 million dollar plus market. And although we saw a bump in inventory at the start the year, those inventory levels have stabilized as well. So buyers still face a market with much less inventory available than the historical average. Your local REALTOR® can help you understand the best way forward for your selling or buying plans based on current and granular data and market insights."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in September 2017 was $832,000, while the benchmark value for the same home in September 2018 increased by 6.2 per cent to $883,700, slightly lower than August's value of $888,300. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in September 2017 was $457,700, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in September 2018 increased by 9.9 per cent to $503,000, exactly the same as August's value.

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