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Victoria Real Estate Market: A Spring Surge but Few Long-Term Gains

Victoria Real Estate Market: A Spring Surge but Few Long-Term Gains
3 min. read

Photo: JPL Designs/Shutterstock

April 2019 saw increased activity in the Victoria real estate market, but the number of homes sold was still less than in the previous year and prices remain sluggish. Overvaluation is still observed here, although concerns about the market may have eased slightly.

More Activity Compared to Previous Month

The 2,751 listings on the market in April 2019 in Victoria represented a healthy increase of 13% over the previous month. The number of listings sold during the month, 696, tells a similar story, as this is an increase of 8.8% over March 2019.

Drops in Activity Year-over-Year

When compared to a year previously, however, the picture is quite different. The number of properties sold was 10% less than the 774 sold in April 2018. Another sign of market inactivity is the fact that the number of active listings was 37.4% more than the 2,002 sold in the same month of the previous year.

 April 2019April 2019 vs
March 2019
April 2019 vs
April 2018
Numbers of Active Listings2,75113% 37.4%
Number of Properties Sold6968.8%-10%

Single-Family Homes the Worst Performers

Victoria Single-family homes for sale appear to be performing less well than condominiums for sale in Victoria right now: 369 of the former were sold in April 2019, a drop of 12% since April 2018, while 203 units of the latter property type sold, a 9.8% decrease over 12 months.

Prices Show Lack of Confidence

Prices showed no great improvement over the levels of a year before, according to Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark values. The figure for a single-family home in the core of Victoria was $845,100, which is a 3.4% drop from the same month of the previous year. For a condominium unit in the same area, the figure was $511,700, just a 1% increase from the figure for April 2018.

 Benchmark Property
Value April 2019
April 2019 vs
April 2018
Single-Family homes$845,100-3.4%

Buyers Still Reluctant

Factors such as the mortgage stress test have slowing down property markets nationwide, and British Columbia’s capital is no exception, but it has been said that these measures have gone too far. Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley states that:

“Spring has been a non-traditional real estate market thus far. Consumer purchasing power continues to be negatively impacted by the B20 mortgage stress test, causing many buyers to step back while they save more money for a down payment.”

Evidence for this might be witnessed in the number of months of inventory in Victoria, which is now roughly double what it was a couple of years ago, indicating the reluctance of buyers.

Better News

Woolley adds a positive comment for sellers: not so many new listings are coming onto the market, and this means multiple offers are sometimes seen, so buyers are advised to get busy if they want a good property.

And in a recent article presenting assessments by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., Victoria’s housing market was still considered to be vulnerable, but with house prices that now better track fundamentals such as income, mortgage rates and population. Also, the number of months of inventory, while increasing, is still some way below its 10-year average.

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