Last Half of 2011 Sees Stabilized Real Estate Market
While the real estate market started out sluggish in 2011, by mid-summer unit sales had stabilized. In December, annual sales for single family homes, townhomes and manufactured homes had increased, while condominium sales decreased by 15% compared to December 2010.
"This may be the result of an increased number of lower priced single-family homes that became available," says Carol Crabb, President of the Victoria Real Estate Board.
Crabb cites that housing prices have softened since December 2010, when the average single family home sold for $647,063, while in 2011 average prices fluctuated and now rest at $592,582.
"This is still quite high compared to the average of $534,411 during the first quarter of 2009. My feeling is that 2010 closed with a very strong market and in 2011, we saw average sales hit the 2010 high only in August," says Crabb. "During the last quarter of 2011, it has been virtually unchanged month over month."
"While we were trending towards a buyers’ market, based on both the prices and number of properties for sale, the decline in the number of active listings in December 2011 continues to reflect a balanced market," she says.
December 2011 saw 2,901 residential and 879 non-residential active listings (total 3780), from a peak of over 4,178 residential and 916 non-residential listings (5,094) in July 2011. This is the first time the number of active listings has been fewer than 4,000 since February 2011.
December marked fewer real estate sales in Greater Victoria, with a total of 339 homes and other properties selling through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), down from 482 sales in November. There were 349 sales in December 2010. Crabb notes that sales typically decline each December, reflective of the holiday season.
The average price for single-family homes sold in Greater Victoria last month was $592,582, up slightly from $592,034 in November. The median price also increased to $535,750 while the six-month average declined to $607,221. The overall average price for condominiums last month was $312,066, down from $320,558 in November. The median price for condominiums in December also decreased to $270,000 while the average for the last six months declined marginally to $321,177. The average price of all townhomes sold last month was $387,719 compared to $380,675 in November. The median price increased to $375,000 from 360,000, while the six month average declined to $416,361
There were six sales of single-family homes marginally over $1 million, with one in View Royal and five in Saanich East. The highest volume of sales in December 2011 was in Saanich East.
MLS® sales last month included 183 single family homes, 89 condominiums, 37 townhomes and 11 manufactured homes, totaling 320 residential sales.
Stats from The Victoria Real Estate Board, January 3, 2012