Saanich real estate sales top $65 million in November

New figures show the price for an average single family home in the Greater Victoria area now exceeds $900,000, as November sales rose 12 per cent compared to the same period last year. November sales also exceeded October sales.

Ara Balabanian, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB), said the sales spike likely reflect a response to changing mortgage rules, calling it a “good example” of how outside forces can change market behaviour.

The federal banking regulator — known as Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions —announced the implementation of new lending guidelines that tighten mortgage requirements, starting Jan. 1.

“We suggested last month that some buyers may accelerate their purchase timeline to buy a new home in anticipation of the mortgage stress test on uninsured buyers — those with a down payment of 20 per cent or more — that will come into effect on Jan. 1,” he said.

Based on sales, some buyers have in fact sped up their purchasing plans to avoid the new mortgage stress test, with more to come, Balabanian said.“It’s quite likely we’ll see a little bump in sales over December, and even January as buyers who are avoiding the stress test will be making purchases,” he said.

But Balabanian warns against reading too much. This is not the start of a new trend, he said.

“Generally the winter months, particularly December and January, are quieter for real estate,” he said. “December is traditionally the very lowest month for listings and sales.”

During the holiday season, sellers often pause their listings, which means there is often less choice on the market, he said. “However, many buyers suspend their searches, which means serious buyers can find interesting opportunities.”

For now, numbers in Victoria are pointing up. “While not a record, it is the highest November sales count we’ve tracked since 1996,” he said. “It is also rare that we see November numbers beat October numbers.” Other markets have reported have reported similar developments.

Local housing prices have also risen. According to VREB, the average selling price of a single-family home in Greater Victoria was $902,985, up 5.6 per cent from the month before and 5.9 per cent compared to the same time last year. Back in November 2016, the average price of a single-family home stood at $852,590.

Balabanian warned against reading too much into that figure. “The average for a month doesn’t indicate what most buyers will pay for a home – two or three high value properties selling in a month can really increase an average in a smaller market like Victoria,” he said.

Looking at Saanich figures, 78 single family homes sold in November for a total of nearly $65 million,with sales in Saanich East outpacing Saanich West. Prices in Saanich East for single family homes also outpaced prices in Saanich West — $855,300 versus $705,600.

 

Just Posted

Search for missing Saanich Peninsula pair ends in tragedy

Vehicle found with two deceased occupants inside

Saanich driver races to Chairman’s Trophy in Mission

Bill Okell has driven the same race car for 44 years

Local school districts gear up for the new back to school season

Seismic upgrades, inclusion and student safety are priorities

Camosun’s continuing education site a quick hit

Hundreds of courses available to launch new career opportunities

Details remains spare as investigation into high-speed crash in Victoria continue

Police watch-dog has assumed investigation of crash that sent three to hospital

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Most Read