Team Market Update: August 2019

Inventory continues to increase, and again sales volume is slightly improved year over year, interest rates decrease. 

– August 2019 Quick Summary

Hi everybody,  

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying summer.  It’s time again for our Monthly Market Update, a service which we provide as a courtesy to our loyal clients and contacts.

Pricing and Activity:  For July the core area (which takes in Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal, Oak Bay and Saanich) is showing a price decrease of about 3.4% year over year.  The benchmark price of a single family home in the core is $858,800, just a bit less than last month’s $859,600 but less than last year’s $889,200.  Overall in our entire market area (which also takes in the islands, Western communities and over the Malahat) it’s almost even year over year, standing at $756,000.  Last year it was $761,300 and last month was  $754,200.  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 July came in at a total of 706 sales in Greater Victoria, less than June’s 740.  (Summer typically less activity.)  Last year in July there were 651 sales so it’s a decent improvement year over year.  (Those statistics include all property types and all areas covered by the Victoria Real Estate Board.)

The Market:   The lower price ranges continue to see reasonably good activity, and it is typical that when a market slows the upper end feels it more, though as mentioned many times now the government policies are at play here too.  Some price ranges and areas are affected more than others, and affordable homes and homes priced well see more activity.  The mortgage stress test affects the amount of mortgage people can qualify for by approximately 20%, helping activity in lower priced properties.  

Inventory is showing a total of 2,949 properties on the market at month end, a small decrease from 3,040 in June, but higher than July of last year which was 2,607.  For perspective, we are approximately back to where it was in the last busy market cycle around 2006 when we saw inventory in the 3,200 range.  Through the last few years it’s been below or just above 2,000 a good part of the time.  In the slowest period of 2012/2013 it was over 5,000. 

Interest rates  A five year fixed term mortgage can be had for around 2.59% if you qualify, depending on your down payment, term, credit history, institution etc.  Rates have been declining again.  That’s a very good rate, historically speaking. If you’re thinking of moving, take the time to get preapproved to make sure everything goes more smoothly.  

About the Graphs:  Below 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.  Below is a blue link to the Average Price Graph and the Inventory & Sales Graph.  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 June we saw 78 properties sell for a million dollars or more.  That number includes eleven properties that sold for over $2 million The prior month we saw 91 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 us!  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 several experienced agents with decades 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.

Cheers everyone!

~~Ronan, Brenda, Jenny, and Vince