Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 4, 2019

April 2019 Market update

 

As normal - if you have any questions about the current market, specific listings, or your home value please feel free to reach out 250.858.6524.

Sincerely 
Brett Cooper 

 

April 1, 2019  A total of 640 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, 7 per cent fewer than the 688 properties sold in March 2018 but a 52 per cent increase from February 2019. Sales of condominiums were down 7.1 per cent from March 2018 with 196 units sold but were up from February 2019 by 51.9 per cent. Sales of single family homes were down 4.5 per cent from March 2018 with 322 sold.

 

"We continue to see a somewhat static local real estate market through March," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. "Like in February, REALTORS® have been busy showing properties and discussing strategy with buyers and sellers, while the sales numbers themselves continue to be relatively flat when compared with last year. These market conditions are not a surprise. Consumers continue to adjust to the B20 mortgage qualification rules and the long-term, low inventory of homes. The good news is we have seen a month-over-month increase of active listings on the market - though we remain well under the ten-year average of 3,403."

There were 2,435 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March 2019, an increase of 14.3 per cent compared to the month of February and a 37.9 per cent increase from the 1,766 active listings for sale at the end of March 2018.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2018 was $867,900. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2019 decreased by 2.8 per cent to $843,600, lower than February's value of $845,900. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in March 2018 was $501,500, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in March 2019 increased by 1.0 per cent to $506,500, slightly higher than February's value of $502,800.

 

"The mortgage stress test continues to put further pressure on lower-priced properties by reducing the borrowing power of many prospective buyers and pushing a lot of buyers into an already compressed price bracket with limited inventory," adds President Woolley. "This means that even though sales are slower than the peak in 2016, many buyers can expect to encounter multiple offer situations as competition increases at lower price points. The federal government recently announced a CMHC shared-equity mortgage program, which aims to reduce first time home buyer payments. However, this program applies only to properties $480,000 or less, and will put even more pressure on lower priced homes and condominiums. These current market dynamics make it increasingly important for our region to continue to find ways to create more affordable housing options to avoid price pressure on the lower-priced properties."

 

April 1 stats graph

 

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 7, 2019

February 2019 Market update

Victoria Real Estate Conditions Continue to Chill.

 

Frozen Victoria Fountain

 

As normal - if you have any questions about the current market, specific listings, or your home value please feel free to reach out 250.858.6524.

Sincerely 
Brett Cooper 

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."

View VREB complete statistical package here.

 

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 21, 2019

2019 Canadian Real Estate Market Forecast

Market Forecast for 2019  

2019 real estate market outlook: a forecast summary  

As ever, industry organizations, brokerages and economists all have their opinions – which can differ widely, but often overlap.

Here’s a look at a range of forecasts and the general consensus in several areas of B.C.’s real estate market

Sales activity

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Housing Market Outlook largely agreed, predicting, “Overall, we anticipate MLS sales to trough in 2018 and see some recovery in 2019-20.”

The Canadian Real Estate Association’s forecast was much less optimistic about B.C. sales activity next year. CREA said that, following an overall 24.2 per cent annual decline in home sales across B.C. in 2018, resale transactions would drop in the province by a further 5.2 per cent in 2019.
 
Home prices – B.C. and urban centres

Looking at Vancouver Island, Yu said, “I think the market in Victoria and the rest of the Island is still quite solid. But prices have essentially flat-lined.” In the capital region, median resale prices are expected to edge up in 2019 by 0.3 per cent from this year to $588,000 (following a 6.1 per cent annual increase in 2018).

However, prices are expected to rise in Island communities that are attracting retirees, Yu said. Overall on Vancouver Island, Central 1 expects the median residential resale price is set to increase next year to $465,000, up 2.2 per cent from 2018, the report predicted.
 
RE/MAX also looked at Kelowna’s real estate market, and predicted that, following a six per cent annual increase in average prices in 2018, home values would shed half those gains in 2019. The brokerage predicted a drop of three per cent next year to take the average price just under the $700K mark, but still more than $20K above 2017’s average.
 
Housing construction

Central 1's Yu said that builders have noted the market slowdown and the result is a sharp drop in housing starts since September, especially in urban areas. Starts in B.C. are predicted to fall to about 32,000 units in each of the next two years after nearly 40,000 units were under construction in 2018 and 43,500 in 2017.

But the credit union’s update also predicts positive housing market outlooks in some areas including Vancouver Island, where retirees fuel the market. Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association, said builders remain optimistic about the capital region, despite what appears to be a slight softening of the real estate market.
 
Rental market
 
On the rental market, Central 1 Credit Union had this to say: “[B.C.’s] rental market conditions are forecast to remain tight. The apartment vacancy rate holds near 1.3 per cent from 2019 through 2021 as renters find greater difficulty shifting into homeownership given tighter credit conditions and rental demand remains strong due to moderate economic and population inflows. Rent growth is forecast to remain near 5 per cent annually, held back by restrictive rent control measures... For units turned over, rent growth will be much higher as landlords can charge market rents, which will continue to soar given low vacancy rates.”
 
Interested in hearing more perspectives? Check out the full article here
CMHC's Housing Market Outlook (HMO) download available here
 
Source: Vancouver Courier
Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 5, 2018

Greater Victoria December Market Update 2018

Winter in Victoria BC

Victoria Real Estate Market Chills out for Winter


As normal - if you have any questions about the current market, specific listings, or your home value please feel free to reach out 250.858.6524.

Sincerely 
Brett Cooper 

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.

November Month end stats - VREB Greater Victoria

 
"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."

 

MLS DATA

November graph update - VREB real estate Victoria BC home sales stats

 

 

Posted in Market Updates
Oct. 5, 2018

Greater Victoria Fall Market Update 2018

Victoria Real Estate Market Continues to Stabilize


As normal - if you have any questions about the current market, specific listings, or your home value please feel free to reach out 250.858.6524.

Sincerely 
Brett Cooper 

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.

 

MLS DATA

 

Posted in Market Updates
July 6, 2018

Summer Market Update - July 6th, 2018

Oceanfront seats

Continued uncertainty brings predictable results for the Victoria real estate market.  


As normal - if you have any questions about the current market, specific listings, or your home value please feel free to reach out 250.858.6524.

Sincerely
Brett Cooper 

A total of 708 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this June, 29.8 per cent fewer than the 1,008 properties sold in June of last year, and a 6.2 per cent decrease from May 2018. The sales of condominiums were down 25.1 per cent from last year in June with 230 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 34.7 per cent from 2017 with 357 sold this June.

July Stats

"June typically signals the conclusion of the busy spring market, and activity lightens into the summer," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "However, because of decelerating growth due to aggressive government implementation of policies to reduce demand, Victoria's real estate market has been hobbled since the start of the year when federal restrictions around mortgage qualifications were rolled out. Even demand side measures that are not yet live, like the Vancouver/Kelowna/Nanaimo/Victoria-specific Speculation Tax, are dragging the market down as many consumers stand aside to watch what happens."

There were a total of 2,595 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of June 2018, an increase of 8.4 per cent compared to the month of May and 35.5 per cent more than the 1,915 active listings for sale at the end of June 2017.

"The good news is that inventory is slowly being added to the market, though we are still very far off from our ten year average inventory level of 4,100 listings" adds President Kerr. "The slower pace of the market has created more time for buyers who may have been hesitant to jump in during the high pressure market conditions of recent years. Homes are spending a bit longer on the market and there are fewer multiple offer situations than in the past, and if we see more listings over the next few months we may be heading back into a more balanced market situation. Every type and location of property is a separate segment of our market, and there are varying pressures and demands, so if you are buying or selling it is wise to take advantage of the services of your local REALTOR® to help navigate this changing market."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in June 2017 was $829,600, while the benchmark value for the same home in June 2018 increased by 7.2 per cent to $889,600, higher than May's value of $878,100. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in June 2017 was $430,400, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in June 2018 increased by 15.4 per cent to $496,500, slightly higher than May's value of $493,900.

 

MLS DATA

MLS DATA

Posted in Market Updates
May 3, 2018

Victoria Spring Market Report - May 1st 2018

Slower start to spring does not signal lower prices for Victoria real estate market 

As normal - if you have any questions about the current market, specific listings, or your home value please feel free to reach out 250.858.6524.

Sincerely Brett Cooper 

A total of 774 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 12.5 per cent fewer than the 885 properties sold in April last year, but a 12.5 per cent increase from the month previous. The sales of condominiums were down 21.6 per cent from last year in April with 225 units sold. Single family homes were 8.1 per cent down from the year previous with 420 sold this April.

“We’re now into the spring real estate market, which is traditionally the busiest time of the year for buying and selling homes,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. “Last year, the months of May and June were the busiest, so we may see this pattern again but on a slightly smaller scale than last year, since our sales for the year thus far are down about 18 per cent when compared to 2017. Although January to March was quite far behind last year’s pace, we may see that margin get smaller as we progress through the spring months and people adjust to the new mortgage qualifying rules.”

There were a total of 2,002 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2018, an increase of 13.4 per cent compared to the month of March and 18.5 per cent more than the 1,690 active listings for sale at the end of April 2017. 

“We continue to see low inventory in our market, and good homes in desirable locations are still seeing multiple bids,” adds President Kerr. “One interesting development we are tracking is the increase of prices in a market of fewer sales. Part of the reason for this is that there is strong pressure on lower-priced properties. After the new mortgage rule changes this year, many consumers have seen a reduction in their buying power, so more are competing for lower-priced properties and in multiple offer situations, pricing is pushed up. Our area just doesn’t have the supply or mix of homes needed to meet the demand. We are working with government at all levels to identify ways to meet this demand in the CRD.”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2017 was $800,100, while the benchmark value for the same home in April 2018 increased by 8.3 per cent to $866,700, higher than March’s value of $859,400. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in April 2017 was $418,200, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in April 2018 increased by 18.4 per cent to $495,100, which is higher than March’s value of $490,000.

 

 

Posted in Market Updates
July 31, 2017

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Posted in Market Updates