Greater Victoria Market Update – October 2019

Hello everyone!

There’s a chill in the air and more leaves on the ground telling us Autumn is here!  It’s time again for our Monthly Market Update, a service we provide as a courtesy to our loyal clients and contacts.

PRICING & ACTIVITY:  For September the core area (which takes in Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal, Oak Bay and Saanich) is showing a price decrease of about 4.3% year over year.  The benchmark price of a single-family home in the core is $846,500, just a bit less than last month’s $847,300 and 3.6% less than last year’s $878,500.

There has been an increase in the condo and townhouse market with an almost 50% increase year-over-year. As new developments come onto the market at prices lower than a single-family home, it will be interesting to see if buyers continue to choose purchasing a condo or townhome over a single-family home.  The benchmark price of a condominium in the Victoria Core this past September increased by 1.6% to $511,600 over September 2018. 

The month of September came in at a total of 616 sales in Greater Victoria, slightly less than August’s 661 sales.  September typically sees less activity as people are back from summer holidays and just getting back into their routines.  Last year in September there were 533 sales, so it continues to be an improvement year-over-year.  (Those statistics include all property types and all areas covered by the Victoria Real Estate Board.)

THE VICTORIA 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 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 continues to have an affect on the amount of mortgage people can qualify for by approximately 20%, helping the sales activity in lower priced properties. 

INVENTORY:  Inventory is showing a total of 2,823 properties on the market at month end.  There’s been a minor decrease compared to August 2019 however, a 6.7% increase this time last year.  Low inventory continues to limit choices.  While there is new condo development inventory coming on the market, we are seeing a fair number of properties being listed, cancelled and then re-listed with a reduction in price. This influences the statistics overall. Buyers are watching the market looking for price adjustments on listings that have been sitting for a while and they are eager to see new inventory that are priced at, or close to recent comparable sales. If you’re still reading this, send an email before October 15th to with the subject “Holly! I Read the Whole Thing!” to receive a $5.00 Starbucks Gift Card! The days of pricing a property higher than market value with an expectation there will be an offer within two weeks of being on the market are gone. Homes that sell quickly are priced to sell quickly. If you’d like a free, no obligation Market Evaluation of your home, click HERE to send us an email and we’ll be happy to meet with you.

INTEREST RATES:  A five-year fixed term mortgage can be had for around 2.69% if you qualify, depending on your down payment, term, credit history, institution etc.  Rates have been coming down little by little.  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.  Don’t know a Mortgage Broker? Click HERE to send us an email and we’ll forward on a list of reputable Mortgage Specialists.

HOW IS THE MARKET DOING IN CANADA? CBC News published their Fall Real Estate Update on September 29th. Overall, economists are expecting a gradual rebound in sales and have declared the housing correction over. Homes priced up to $1 million have seen an increase in sales activity, with the higher priced luxury market, hit the hardest the past couple of years, continues to remain soft. Interest rates have been dropping and the price of homes have adjusted downwards. This allows buyers the ability to have more buying power compared to last year.

Of course, if you have any questions about the market or what your home or investment property could sell for, we are here to help you!

Holly Sansom

Real Estate Professional