New real estate numbers show sales in Greater Victoria are down 12.5 per cent compared to the same period last year. But sales rose 12.5 per cent compared to last month.

Real estate sales in Greater Victoria show more spring in step

Sales in April 2018 up compared to March 2018, but still down year-to-year

New figures show that local real estate sales continue to decline but at a slower rate.

According to the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB), regional sales in April 2018 dropped by 12.5 per cent compared to the same period last year. Compared to March 2018 though, sales rose 12.5 per cent. So has the bleeding stopped?

“It’s a good question,” said Kyle Kerr, VREB’s president. “I think we are starting to see the spring market pick up.” Kerr said May and June were the busiest and this pattern may repeat but on a “slightly smaller scale” than last year, since sales for the year are down 18 per cent compared to 2017.

While Kerr said sales so far have been “quite far” behind last year’s pace, he also expects sales to strengthen during the spring months.

This said, the market is still trying to sort itself out as buyers continue to adjust to new mortgage rules.

“People are still unsure about where the market is heading,” said Kerr.

Another uncertainty concerns the speculation tax that the provincial government introduced this February as part of a larger package to improve housing affordability.

While the government will not table the appropriate legislation until September 2018, Kerr said it has helped to depress the upper-end market. At the lower end of the market though, demand is picking up and listings often inspire competing offers, he said.

Overall, Kerr said he sees no single market, but rather several micro-markets that require skilled navigation.

Looking at the numbers, sales have declined against the backdrop of increased supply but also rising prices. The number of active listings totaled 2,002 at the end of April 2018, up 13.4 per cent compared to the month of March and 18.5 per cent. But this increase has not impacted prices.

The Home Price Index (HPI) benchmark value for a single family in Victoria’s core rose 8.3 per cent to $866,700 compared to the same period last year. Corresponding condominium prices rose even faster. In April 2017, the benchmark value of a condominium in Victoria’s core was $418,200. A year later, it has risen to $495,100.

“Part of the reason for this is that there is strong pressure on lower-priced properties,” said Kerr. “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.”

Looking at the sales-to-active-listings ratio, the region remains a seller’s market. While far off from the peak of March 2017 when the ratio approached 90 per cent, the current ratio stands at 50 per cent – some 30 per cent above the figure when the market becomes a seller’s market.

Looking at Saanich numbers, the benchmark value of a single-family home in Saanich East was $907,000 and $724,200 for Saanich West. Overall, total sales in Saanich topped $100 million in sales for single family homes.

Just Posted

Esquimalt man faces four charges of sexual assault, investigators suspect more victims

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Pet-A-Palooza a good reason to ‘pawse’ this weekend in Victoria

Puppies, goats, wiener dog races and more on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy Aug. 18-19

Heat and smoke raises health risks

Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror Health risks arising from heat and… Continue reading

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Victoria Lavender owner set to retire

Sidney storefront to remain open, future of goat yoga undecided

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Most Read