Real estate sales in the Greater Victoria are showing some signs of recovery to start 2020. (Black Press Media File).

Real estate sales in Greater Victoria show signs of recovery

President of Victoria Real Estate Board calls on municipalities to cut red tape, bureaucracy

The head of the association representing Greater Victoria realtors sees the local market on a trajectory towards recovery.

Sandi-Jo Ayers, president of the Victorial Real Estate Board (VREB), said new figures for January already distinguish this year from the previous year.

“We’ve returned to more traditional January sales numbers, which tend to be over 400 sales,” she said. “Unfortunately, we have not seen a corresponding increase in listings alongside the demand, so buyers in the low to mid-price segment of our market may find themselves in competition for desirable properties.”

Figures show 411 properties sold in VREB’s region in January, 24.9 per cent more than the 329 properties sold in January 2019, a figure 2.2 per cent higher than sales figures for December 2019. Sales of single family homes increased 31.6 per cent from January 2019 with 200 sold, while the number of sold condominiums rose 6.3 per cent with 118 units sold.

RELATED: More than 7,200 properties sold in Greater Victoria in 2019

Ayers repeated her industry’s demand for measures that increase the supply of housing in pointing the finger at federal and provincial measures that have respectively raised mortgage thresholds and imposed a tax on secondary homes.

”Eighteen months ago, the provincial and federal governments introduced demand side measures, which we can now see have not been successful in making homes more attainable in our community,” she said. “Since demand side measures aren’t working, the board hopes that all levels of government will turn their attention to supply.”

Specifically, she called on muncipalities to cut red tape and reduce costs to “increase housing opportunities” and ease pressure.

Housing prices appear to be on the rise, according to the new figures, with the benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria core rising 1.4 per cent to $858,500, up from $846,900 in January 2019. The benchmark value for condominiums also rose year-over-year by 4.1 per cent to $521,100.


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