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

B.C. drafts principles on changing their relationship with Indigenous peoples

Minister calls new relationship with B.C. First Nations a journey in progress

New reservation system in place at Island View Beach campsite

CRD launches new system for campers at the park

Canadian National Standup Paddleboard races in Sidney this weekend

Three day event on the Sidney waterfront, May 25 to 27

Hammer-wielding man threatens campers in Port Renfrew

Suspect facing charges of uttering threats and mischief

Comics through the years at Sidney Museum

Exhibit showcases the golden age of comics to the present

North Saanich ball park gets new dugouts

Field of Dreams upgrades means more, better baseball on tap

Horgan defends fight to both retain and restrict Alberta oil imports

Alberta says pipeline bottlenecks are kneecapping the industry, costing millions of dollars a day

B.C. Transit shows off NextRide bus technology

New technology allows for real-time tracking, to be rolled out through early 2019

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

RCMP caution boaters after two kids pass out from carbon monoxide poisoning

Both children were given oxygen and taken to hospital

B.C. invests $115M to create 200 new nurse practitioner jobs

Health Minister says 780,000 B.C. residents don’t have a family doctor

Union calls on prime minister to step into ‘stalled’ Phoenix compensation talks

For more than two years, thousands of federal workers have been affected by Phoenix system

Judge: President Trump can’t block critics on Twitter

The judge had suggested that Trump mute rather than block some of his critics

NFL owners adopt new policy to address anthem protests

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the change was approved unanimously by owners

Most Read