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

Fulfilling a lifelong dream of flight

97-year old will fly a plane for the first time

Get ready for the 39th annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Up to 9,000 particpants are anticipated for this year’s three-day race weekend

Impaired driver crashes into Victoria police vehicle, injures officer

Cook Street collision occured in the early morning hours of Tuesday

Plaque that replaced Macdonald statue at Victoria city hall vandalized

Less than 24 hours after plaque was installed, an ‘X’ had been scratched through the centre

UPDATE: Motorcyclist involved in Cook Street crash dies

A serious crash sent two to hospital on Monday night

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Most Read