Single females accounted for 16 per cent of the real estate transactions in 2010 while their male counterparts bought up 11 per cent of the overall inventory, according to an analysis of last year's sales by the Greater Victoria Real Estate Board.
The data also revealed that 70 per cent of all buyers in the market were from Greater Victoria and 25 per cent of the total were first-time buyers.
"The majority of buyers are people moving up or down in the market to meet their changing needs," said board president Dennis Fimrite, adding he found it encouraging to see a quarter of the buyers were acquiring their first homes. "Despite concerns over affordability, we are pleased to see that many individuals and families are able to make the move to home ownership. This shows confidence in the market and a commitment to making this area their home."
A total of 6,546 single-family homes, condominiums and townhouses were sold through the Victoria board last year -- a 19 per cent decline from the 8,096 transactions in 2009. The total value of the property sold through the board's Multiple Listing Service decreased by 14 per cent in 2010 to $3.24 billion from $3.775 billion in 2009.
Prices were up. Last year, the average for a single-family house was $629,925, rising by 8.46 per cent from $580,748 in 2009.
Of the total sales last year, only eight per cent involved new homes.
The survey of last year's sales also showed 14 per cent of buyers were retired. Despite continued speculation that Albertans and Americans remain big buyers here, only 15 per cent of sales were from outside B.C. and only three per cent were from outside Canada.
More than 60 per cent of overall sales occurred in the core municipalities while 19 per cent bought on the West Shore and 11 per cent bought places on the Saanich Peninsula.
By Darron Kloster, Times Colonist