Greater Victoria home sales drop for ninth consecutive month

Greater Victoria saw a decline in home sales for the ninth consecutive month in August, compared to the same period in 2017, according to the Victoria Real Estate Board.

The market logged a total of 594 properties sold, a decline from the 736 sales in August 2017. When compared to July’s figure of 651 sales, it can be deduced that August records were also lower.

 “Prices in our market are quite flat right now, with a slow, long-term trend toward a more balanced market,” said board president Kyle Kerr.

He further added that the inventory in the area has been “relatively static for months” after signs of life were observed during spring.

Implying that the downward shift in sales was related to higher home values, Kerr gave a glimpse of the market prices in specific towns.

“In August, the benchmark price for a single-family house in the core (Victoria, Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Saanich and View Royal) was $888,300, which was higher than the $830,800 in the same month in 2017. Last month’s price trailed July’s $888,700.”

Following the same trend as single-family houses, condominiums’ August benchmark price of $503,000 was more expensive than August of last year, at $453,900. In addition, the previous month’s price fell below July’s, which was $507,700.

Times Columnist reported that more higher-value properties and fewer single-family houses priced at $750,000 or lower accounted for a plateau in listings.

“There were 2,519 properties for sale through the board at the end of August. The region’s real estate market has seen a decrease in the number of homes priced at $750,000 or less compared with 2017.”

It was also highlighted how it used to be a big deal for a house to sell for $1 million or higher in the capital region, but things had changed, and it is now usual to see properties listed under that price category.

Moreover, assessed values increased.  Condo assessments last January jumped by up to 35% in the region, while single-family house prices grew up to 25% in urban areas.

Kerr said that mortgage stress test clearly made an impact on the buying power of purchasers, but he also underscored the possibility that robust local economy and high employment rates driving demand in the fall season.

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