Jenny’s Corner – February 2019

Hello everyone, Happy February, and time for my Monthly Market Update, a service I provide to all my loyal clients and contacts.

Pricing and Activity:  The core area (which takes in Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal, Oak Bay and Saanich) is showing an increase of just under 1% year over year.  The benchmark price of a single family home in the core is $847,800less than last month’s $858,600 but still slightly more than last year’s $840,100.  It’s in a declining pattern for several months now though is still showing a very slight increase year over year, almost to the even point.  Overall in our entire market area it’s showing an increase of about 2% year over year, standing at $742,000.  Activity and pricing vary by area and also by type of property.  There are more sales of single family homes than any other class so it best represents the activity. 

The month of January came in at a total of 329 sales in Greater Victoria, lower than December’s 375.  Last year in January there had 431 sales, so it’s a fair amount of difference.  That paints a picture of declining activity, moving into more of a balanced market.  We will have to wait to see what the near term brings, because despite the negatives affecting our market, we still have very low inventory, historically speaking.  There is good traffic at open houses, and we have seen competition sometimes on properties.  (Those statistics include all property types and all areas covered by the Victoria Real Estate Board.)

Inventory is showing a total of 2,057 properties on the market at month end, a bit more than last month’s 1,988.  December is typically the lowest inventory point of the year.  Last year in January it was 1,491.  That all means that inventory is still quite low historically speaking. 

The Market:  Our market is still adjusting to the relatively recent changes implemented, such as provincial taxes and policies, the Federal Mortgage Stress Test implemented last January 1st which affected people’s purchasing power by about 20%, and of course interest rates have increased.  We also have the recently passed Speculation Tax which we believe is having an impact as some people sell their second home or choose not to purchase one in our province in order to avoid that hefty tax.  Note rentals are exempt but there are rules.  If you want to chat about it or need the link to the government site with details, please give me a call.

Interest rates  A five year fixed term mortgage can be had for around 3.5% if you qualify, depending on your down payment, term, credit history, institution etc.  If you’re thinking of moving, take the time to get preapproved before house hunting to make sure everything goes more smoothly.    

About the Attached Graphs:  Attached you will find a copy of the Benchmark chart of home prices for Victoria by area and also by municipality.  Please don’t try to accurately gauge the selling price of a property from this alone as there are very many variables to consider.  The average price graph and inventory & sales graphs are attached as well.  In the latter at the bottom of the page, the beige bar represents listings, while the blue dotted line represents the number sold.  Our market is small, which means the numbers are a small sampling and the figures can be easily skewed by the sale of many homes in either higher or lower price ranges, so the graphs and statistics are best used as a tool to identify trends only. The townhouse and condo graphs should be taken more lightly, as they have many fewer sales than the single family homes.  It’s all about trends.

Million dollar plus sales:  In January we saw 34 properties sell for a million dollars or more.  That number includes two properties that sold for over $2 million, and two that sold for over $3 million.  The prior month we saw 41 sell in the higher price ranges.  RE/MAX consistently has the largest market share of properties that sold over a million! 

If you are thinking about making a move, whether buying or selling, please do call me, or any member of the team.  We‘d be happy to discuss it, even if you decide not to proceed.  There’s lots to consider, such as timing, competition, pricing, what to do (or not do) to your current home, and what’s available to purchase.   We’d be happy to chat or drop by.  Our team brings with it many years of experience for your benefit, and rest assured we’ll always give you our best advice and an honest price estimate.  And please do pass our names along to anyone you know who is thinking about making a move.  Our business grows through personal referrals and we appreciate your trust in referring us to friends.  You may feel reluctant to get involved but it’s better to help your friends by providing them with the name of a trusted and knowledgeable professional than for them to venture out looking on their own.

 Click here to view the Official News Release from the Victoria Real Estate Board, along with more information and all sorts of statistics.

You’ll find my web page is now forwarded to www.vpsg.ca.  Contact me, or any one of the team members there.  My cell number however, will never change.

Stay warm!

 ~~ Jenny