The New Year celebrations never died down in the Victoria real estate market this year. A total of 539 homes were sold in the city during the month of January 2016. Rewind to January 2015 where only 351 sales were made, and it becomes clear that something has changed in the city. Year-over-year sales increases of 53.6% are certainly not the norm across the country, and the big spike in Victoria has house-hunters and real estate professionals alike sitting up and taking notice.
Constricting Inventory With 24.7% fewer Listings This Year
The high increase in sales has not been met with a corresponding increase in the number of available properties on the market. People looking for a new house are going to be faced with fewer options, especially if the current ravenous buying continues. At the end of January 2016, there were 2,471 houses and condos for sale. Last year at the same time there were 3,283 houses for sale, and they were being bought up at a much more gradual pace.
There is a slow down in the volume of new properties that are being listed for sale, although the drop-off there has not been as steep as in the overall available inventory. January 2016 saw 934 new homes for sale in Victoria, while the same month a year earlier saw 1,027 new homes listed on the market.
Average Home Price Increases to $696,368
Given a very active market and a decrease in the inventory home buyers have available to them, it should come as no surprise that prices are climbing in Victoria. The average price of a single-family home in the Greater Victoria Area has climbed to $696,368, that’s 23.4% higher than the average price for a single family detached home last year. Condos have jumped upwards in price in a similar fashion, with the average condo now costing $334,775, which is 20.7% more than in January last year.
While the traditionally more expensive neighbourhoods in areas such as Highlands and Oak Bay continue to climb in price, there are a few neighbourhoods where prices appear to be dropping. The Victoria Real Estate Board uses benchmark prices to measure shifts in neighbourhood pricing, and this method indicates that prices have dropped in a few areas. Both Sooke and Metchosin seem to have housing options that are slightly cheaper than they were a month ago. These neighbourhoods have also not seen prices rise nearly as quickly on a year-over-year basis compared to areas such as Victoria, Victoria West or Saanich East.