The average price for a single family home is up 22.8 % over last year in the Greater Victoria area according to the MLS ® Home Price index. The current benchmark value for a single family home is hovering around $745,700, up from $607,100 a year ago. Mike Nugent, President of the Victoria Real Estate Board commented that ‘The market is still strong but not moving at the pace we saw earlier in the year.’ This is not unusual for the early fall/winter season but this year, the slow down appears driven by a lack of inventory and not a decline in buyer demand as homes continue to sell quickly and often with multiple buyers making offers.
Even with the “slowdown”, Real Estate sales are up 10.9% over September 2015. A total of 781 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this September, compared to the 704 properties that sold in September last year. And inventory levels are at the lowest level on record since 1996, with 2,061 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of September 2016, 40.7 per cent fewer than the 3,478 active listings at the end of September 2015.
“This is the lowest level of inventory on the market in September that we have on record [since 1996]," notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. "This continuing lack of inventory holds up sales. The market is still strong, but not moving at the pace we saw earlier in the year. This slowdown is typical with what we expect in the fall to winter season and may be more pronounced as a result of buyer fatigue, due to the lack of available inventory. Nugent noted that in Victoria, “We have already exceeded the number of sales that we saw in 2015, with a full quarter remaining in the year.’ Clearly, this is fueled by the province’s British Columbia’s growth in employment, the retail sector and strong GDP. Our population is growing along with the economy and with that, newcomers are looking for homes. At this point, the new foreign buyer Property Transfer Tax in Vancouver has not shown evidence of increasing numbers of foreign buyers in the Victoria market. However, the number of real estate transactions in the Greater Vancouver area fell 32.9% last month, demonstrating that the tax has achieved the intended goal of creating a more balanced market in the lower mainland.