Real estate sales in the Greater Victoria region dropped almost 24 per cent (23.7 per cent) in January 2019, when compared to the same period in 2018. (Black Press File).

Greater Victoria real estate sales dropped almost 24 per cent in January 2019 over January 2018

Local real estate market has entered ‘balanced’ territory

Local real estate sales continue to decline.

While it is common to see declining sales in January, sales in January 2019 dropped almost 24 per cent (23.7 per cent) when compared to January 2018, with sales of single family homes down almost 30 per cent from January 2018.

“It’s already an interesting year for local real estate,” said Cheryl Woolley, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB). “[Realtors] are are keeping busy showing homes and writing offers, however actual sales are slower than we would expect in an average January.”

RELATED: B.C. home sales drop 25% in 2018

RELATED: B.C. real estate group predicts dip in home sales, not in prices in 2018

She said buyers are hesitant to purchase for many reasons. “For instance, changes to mortgage lending rules have decreased the amount of funds buyers can qualify for by up to twenty-five per cent,” she said in citing a familiar reason. “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.”

Many would-be buyers and sellers are also holding out. Buyers are waiting for new inventory to open up, while sellers are assessing their prospects.

While the number of listings has steadily risen, prices remain steady, if not rising slightly.

RELATED: Head of Greater Victoria builders warns of changing construction climate

“Over the past few years, demand in Greater Victoria has outstripped supply, putting upward pressure on pricing,” said Woolley. “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.”

Looking at the ratio between sales and active listings, it has hit 20 per cent — the upper end of what constitutes a “balanced market” in which prices face little pressure either way.

Looking at specific communities, Saanich has seen prices for single family homes drop. In Saanich East, prices dropped to $864,400 in January 2019 from $875,000 from December 2018. Six months ago, the price for a single family home stood at $911,700.

In Saanich West, prices dropped to $750,000 in January 2019 from $753,000 in December 2018. Six months ago, the price stood at $763,700.

Depending on the neighbourhood, January prices for single family homes in Victoria ranged from $656,300 to $742,000, with the general trendline pointing downwards.

Prices for single-family homes also dropped in most but not all West Shore communities and in communities on the Saanich Peninsula.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

UPDATED: Man arrested on Richmond Avenue after standoff with police following ‘serious assault’

Police were called early Sunday morning following an assault in the building

VRBA warns Saanich of negative consequences if new DCC bylaw approved

Builders association says the cost of increasing DCCs will be borne by consumers

320 years since the ‘Big One’ doesn’t mean it’s overdue: Canada Research Chair

‘It could happen today, tomorrow or 100 years from now’

New Stats Canada survey confirms cash value of master’s degree

Holders of master’s degrees earn up to $21,000 more than undergraduate degree holders

Santa, West Shore firefighters team up to fill the sleigh for the food bank

Santa makes annual visits Dec. 14, 15, 22 and 24 across the West Shore

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Most Read