Vancouver, BC – June 15, 2018. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 8,837 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province in May, a 28.7 per cent decrease from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $739,783, down 1.7 per cent from May 2017. Total sales dollar volume was $6.54 billion, a 30 per cent decline from May 2017.

“BC home sales continued to slow in May because of more stringent qualifications for conventional borrowers,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The changes in mortgage policy are taking their toll on housing demand, not only in British Columbia, but across the country by reducing household purchasing power and housing affordability.”

While the decline in consumer demand has lifted the inventory of homes for sale, total active residential listings in the province are still relatively low by historical comparison.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 13.8 per cent to $26.4 billion, compared with the same period in 2017. Residential unit sales decreased 16.6 per cent to 35,976 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 3.4 per cent to $733,616.

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The following comments are from Cameron Muir an Economist here in British Columbia.

 

The desire of some well-meaning British Columbians for government to
drive down the price of homes through demand-side policy may sound
practical at first blush. However, when you consider the broad and deep
economic toll that a negative shock to home prices would exact on both
homeowners and renters, it quickly becomes apparent that such an
approach is at best, a mug’s game. BCREA Economics analysis* shows that
even a relatively modest negative price shock will produce significant
consequences to the BC economy.
Nearly 70 per cent of British Columbian households own their home. A
relatively minor 10 per cent negative shock to home prices would
extinguish $90 billion of their wealth, or $70,000 of the average home
owner’s equity. While some may see this as a paper loss, it will have a
significant impact on the economy, as declining household wealth reins in
consumer spending. Retail sales would suffer, with an estimated $1.8
billion in forgone revenue in the first year after the shock.
Home construction activity would fall dramatically. Home builders would
cut back production 25 per cent; that’s 10,000 fewer housing starts in the
first year alone. A negative price shock would markedly slow the expansion
of the housing stock, creating even more critical housing supply problems
down the road.
Across the economy, a negative home price shock will slow growth. Tens of
thousands of jobs will be forfeited. The unemployment rate will shoot up. A
10 per cent negative price shock will slow real GDP growth to 1.5 per cent
from a baseline of 2.7 per cent. That’s $3 billion in lost activity. If home
prices fell 35 per cent, a level some activists are championing, the BC
economy would collapse into recession. The average home owner would
have lost $245,000 in equity, housing starts would fall by half, 64,000 jobs
would be forfeited – sending the unemployment rate to 7.5 per cent with
$4.4 billion in forgone retail sales and a colossal $8 billion loss to GDP in the
first year.
This analysis does not account for the negative impact on provincial tax
revenues, expanding deficits, ballooning debt and credit downgrade risks.

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A total of 688 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, 25.9 per cent fewer than the 929 properties sold in March last year, but a 26.2 per cent increase from the month previous. The sales of condominiums were down 28.2 per cent from last year in March with 211 units sold. Single family homes were 30.8 per cent down from the year previous, with 337 sold this March.

"As we expected, March sales are tracking lower than in 2017," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "This is likely due to a number of factors that have created hesitation in consumers, including recent heavy measures by the provincial government to reduce the value of home prices and the federal government's new mortgage qualification rules. Combine these factors with rising interest rates and you've got a housing market that is in transition due to outside influences. Every time there is intervention into a market, it takes a few months for the market to rebalance. With the continual changes of late from different levels of government, our market is experiencing a new cycle of ongoing uncertainty."

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A total of 545 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 19.3 per cent fewer than the 675 properties sold in February last year. The sales of condominiums were down 15.5 per cent from last year in February with 174 units sold. Single family homes were 24.4 per cent down from the year previous, with 260 sold this February.

"We certainly anticipated that we would see some lower numbers this year compared to last," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "Right now prospective home buyers are met with many hurdles as they start shopping for their new home. They're in a market that's experienced long-term low inventory, which means more price pressure and competition on homes. Buyers are navigating increasing interest rates and the new mortgage stress test. These factors all combine to constrain our market. Like any changes to consumer experience, there is a period of response before consumers adapt to the new rules. We saw an increase in buyers in November and December who bought early to avoid the mortgage stress test, and this likely means less buyers in the current market. However, with continued historical low inventory levels, demand is still outpacing supply."

There were a total of 1,545 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2018, an increase of 3.6 per cent compared to the month of January and 0.5 per cent more than the 1,537 active listings for sale at the end of February 2017.

"The provincial government recently rolled out its budget, which includes an admirable commitment to spend six billion dollars to build 114,000 units in ten years," adds President Kerr. "These units will take years to come to market, and it is difficult to predict how many we will see in Victoria. The government needs a long-term approach to supply needs in our area, and that initial commitment is a good start. A reasonable way to bolster their commitment and improve current conditions is for the province to work with our municipalities to reduce the timelines and costs associated with bringing new housing to our market."

 

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2017 was $771,100, while the benchmark value for the same home in February 2018 increased by 9 per cent to $840,300, slightly higher than January's value of $831,900. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in February 2017 was $394,400, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in February 2018 increased by 19.85 per cent to $472,600, which is slightly higher than January's value of $460,500.

 

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In the Provincial Governments Budget 2018, the BC government announced that it would be introducing legislation to impose an annual speculation tax.  The tax will be effective for the 2018 tax year.
The majority of BC homeowners will be exempt from this tax.
I estimate that 20% of the homes ( and thier owners) in Greater Victoria will be affected by this "tax". Over the years, Albertans and Ontario residents have bought a second home here in Victoria, with a plan to retire here. I thought it would take the form of a tax applied upon the sale of a property – say, if a home is flipped by a non-resident within a certain limited time period. For example, a non-resident (for tax purposes) owner who sells a James Bay home within a year of buying it would have to pay an additional levy on that sale – a levy that would decline on a sliding scale the longer the home is owned. Such a tax would target actual speculators looking for nothing more than a quick flip, who capitalize on the uplift in value in a rising market within a relatively short time frame. That’s what speculation is, after all. That is not what was introduced by the Government.
The speculation tax will target foreign and domestic speculators in BC.  These are homeowners who have removed their units from BC’s long-term housing stock – meaning they are not owner-occupied or a qualifying long-term rental property.  Satellite families - households with high worldwide income that pay little income tax in BC - will also be captured by the tax.  The speculation tax will initially apply to the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Capital and Nanaimo Regional Districts, and in the municipalities of Kelowna and West Kelowna.
In 2018, the tax rate will be $5 per $1,000 of assessed value. In 2019, the rate will increase to $20 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Specifics of how and when the tax will be collected, are still to be worked out.

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A total of 462 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 1.9 per cent fewer than the 471 properties sold in December last year.  
 
A grand total of 8,944 properties sold over the course of 2017, 15.8 percent fewer than the record breaking 10,622 that sold in 2016. 2017 sales came in at 21.7 per cent over the ten year average of 7,349 properties sold.  
 
"Early in 2017 we discussed how the Victoria area housing market would be different than the record breaking year we had in 2016 and that over the course of the year we'd probably see a gradual return to a more balanced market. We did see evidence of this change come early in the year, as multiple offers and rapid price increases leveled out," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. "However, the ongoing low inventory of properties for sale meant that buyers continued to experience competitive situations in high demand areas, and multiple offers were still a common occurrence as buyers negotiated in a tighter market. What we couldn't anticipate were outside factors such as changes to mortgage qualifying rules that may have pushed people into the market early. The pending mortgage stress test in particular is likely to have caused much of the increased activity we've seen in November and December."
 
There were 1,384 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2017, a decrease of 21.5 per cent compared to the month of November and 7.3 per cent fewer than the 1,493 active listings for sale at the end of December 2016. This is the lowest level of inventory for the area in the month of December since the statistic was tracked in 1996.
 
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2016 was $753,900. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2017 has increased by 9.3 per cent to $823,800, and is slightly lower than November's value of $824,600.  
 
"Overall, the low inventory and the continued interest in Victoria real estate meant that well-priced homes were quick to sell in 2017. Moving forward, we expect to see more inventory come into the market, which will continue to move us toward a more balanced state," adds President Balabanian. "We also expect housing prices to remain stable, without the increases we tracked in 2016, and anticipate steady slow growth.

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A total of 664 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, 9.7 per cent fewer than the 735 properties sold in October last year.  
 
"As expected, we saw fewer sales than this time last year," notes Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. "Looking at the longer term picture however, sales last month were 17.1 per cent above the ten year average of 567 properties for the month of October, so the market is still very active here in Victoria, and this is in spite of the ongoing low inventory levels."
 
There were 1,905 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2017, a decrease of 3.6 per cent compared to the month of September and 1.7 per cent fewer than the 1,938 active listings for sale at the end of October 2016.  
 
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in October 2016 was $752,000. The benchmark value for the same home in October 2017 has increased by 9.3 per cent to $821,900, but is lower than July's value of $834,200.  
 
VREB President Ari Balabanian said "In the coming months we expect to see less inventory on the market, because the year end changes buyer and seller behaviours, their focus shifts to holidays and winter weather. One unknown influence that may play on the winter market is the upcoming mortgage stress test. Some buyers may move their purchasing timelines forward to make their home purchases before the stress test on uninsured buyers (those with a down payment of 20 per cent or more) becomes required January 1."
 

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October 17 2017

The federal government has confirmed a new mortgage stress test that will come into effect on January 1, 2018. The new qualifying rules will apply to home buyers looking for an uninsurable or conventional mortgage. You will need to qualify on either the Bank of Canada benchmark rate (currently at 4.89%, updated weekly) or your mortgage contract rate + 2% - whichever is higher. Currently, buyers in this situation only need to qualify at their contract rate.

As an example, let's say that you've saved $100,000 for a down payment. Today, using a typical rate, you'd be able to buy a $500,000 property if your annual income is $70,000, assuming you have good credit and will take a 30-year amortization on your mortgage. On January 1, you would either need to:

    Have an annual income of $90,000 – an increase of $20,000 (better ask for that raise now!); or
    Consider property in the $400,000 range – a loss in buying power of $100,000.

Who does this affect?

This rule will affect anyone who is looking for mortgage financing on a property purchase or refinance in Canada with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 80% or less. Whether you are a first time home buyer, buying a second home, or buying a rental property, if you are making a conventional down payment you will need to pass these qualifying rules.

What do you mean by qualify?

A lender will consider your overall level of debt to see whether your income will allow you to take on the additional payment of a mortgage. This debt-service ratio must meet certain levels set by the government in order for the lender to consider your file.

What should I do next?

If you have saved a large down payment and are considering a home purchase in the near future, you may want to accelerate your search to see if you can make an offer before the end of the year. Some local credit unions do not need to follow these rules designed for the Big Banks.  Feel free to contact me for more details.

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Why lenders may refuse your mortgage application

I always suggest my clients talk to a mortgage broker or their bank before starting to look for a home. Do not rely on mortgage calculators on websites to pre-qualify you.

There are many reasons why your favourite bank or lender may reject your clients when they apply for a mortgage. Here are some of them.

Not enough credit history:

If you are new to the country or you recently finished at college/university or you don’t own any credit cards, lenders likely will not give you a mortgage because of the lack of credit history. Lenders want to know your paying habits.

Low or bad credit score:

If your Equifax credit score is bad or too low, banks and lenders may not lend you any money. Bad credit ratings result from missed payments in the past, bankruptcy and deferred payments. It is possible A lenders will refuse you and B lenders will charge a very high interest rate.

Recently started new job:

If you recently started a new job, chances are banks and even B lenders will wait at least until your probation period is over. Sometimes this can be six months or more. If you have a stable job and have been working at your current job for some time, lenders will look at you as a good candidate for a mortgage.

Too much loan debt:

Even if you have a stable job and you have worked at your current job for many years, if you already have too many loans or too much debt (high car payments, credit card debt, student loans), chances are you may be refused for your mortgage.

Not enough for a down payment:

These days it is hard to find detached homes in Greater Victoria for less than $600,000, making it tough for young people to come up with a large enough down payment.

Self employed income:

If you are self employed or you fall under the category of self employed contractor, banks and lenders will request the last two years of your income tax notice of assessments.

Too many properties:

Everything is fine if you have good stable job, you have enough money for a down payment and your credit score is fine. But it is possible the bank you deal with will refuse another mortgage because you now have too many properties. All banks have limits of how many mortgages they can grant to the same person.

Unforeseen events in your life:

Life is very unpredictable. Unforeseen events such as health issues, job loss or a divorce will increase the chance that you are going to be refused for a mortgage.

 

 

 

 

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There is quite a bit of controversy over Short Term Vacation Rentals (STVR) , commonly referred to as Air B n B.
Concerns from the government, include the fact that these are commercial businesses, competing against hotels. Yet most do not pay commercial taxes, and are paying lower property taxes as if they are residential properties. Some municipal politicians are saying that condominiums and secondary suites, that used to be rented to long term tenants are now being rented out as vacation properties, resulting in a shortage of residential accomodations.

The City of Victoria is currently looking at this issue, and is proposing changes to current zoning, and the creation of bylaws to regulate this.
To quote from an August 28 City memo: "To date, no formal public engagement on this matter has been undertaken; however, since Council began considering these issues in 2016, hundreds of items of correspondence have been received at the City expressing a broad range of opinion on the issue of rezoning and the acceptance of STRs in general."

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September 1, 2017  
 
A total of 736 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this August, 16.6 per cent fewer than the 883 properties sold in August last year.  
 
"I admit to being a little surprised by the August numbers," notes Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. "I expected inventory numbers to be climbing by now, but instead we've seen even lower numbers of listings on the market. This is likely leading to some buyer fatigue along with pressure on pricing in high demand areas."
 
There were 1,917 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of August 2017, a decrease of four properties compared to the month of July, and 8.5 per cent fewer than the 2,094 active listings for sale at the end of August 2016.
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in August 2016 was $743,200. The benchmark value for the same home in August 2017 has increased by 10.8 per cent to $823,100.  
 
"Though much too early to call a trend, we do see that the August HPI benchmark value for single family homes in the Victoria Core area has decreased by 1.3 per cent when compared to July. This is the first time we've noted a decrease in HPI values since August 2015." adds President Balabanian. "That said, this is not an indicator of a huge change in property values across our region. We've seen a phenomenally busy two years in real estate for our area and we are likely heading towards a period of more balanced activity.

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July 4, 2017 - "This year may feel a bit steady and less exciting when compared to last year's record-breaking market. People are getting used to this new tempo of brisk sales," says 2017 Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. "However, when we look at the longer term numbers, we're in a very active market. This June we counted over one thousand properties sold, while the ten year average for sales in the month of June is 798. If we remove 2016 sales, this June would have been the record breaker."

A total of 1,008 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this June, 14.1 per cent fewer than the 1,174 properties sold in June last year.

There were 1,915 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of June 2017, an increase of one per cent compared to the month of May, but 16.3 per cent fewer than the 2,289 active listings for sale at the end of June 2016.

"The good news for buyers is that inventory is slowly starting to build," adds President Balabanian. "But buyers can still anticipate multiple offer scenarios in certain high demand neighbourhoods where inventory is being bought at a more rapid pace. It's never been a better time to be a seller, with MLS® Home Price Index prices at a record high for the Victoria Core."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in June 2016 was $721,000. The benchmark value for the same home in June 2017 has increased by 15.1 per cent to $829,600.

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June 1, 2017 - "This month we have seen an increase in inventory - which means that buyers have more choice - and it means that now in some areas sellers are competing for buyers," says 2017 Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian.
There were 1,896 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of May 2017, an increase of 12.2 per cent compared to the month of April, but 21.2 per cent fewer than the 2,406 active listings for sale at the end of May 2016.
A total of 1,006 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this May, 22 per cent fewer than the 1,289 properties sold in May last year. The ten year average for sales in May is 815 properties.
"There are many different market conditions in Victoria, because we have so many different neighbourhoods and different levels of demand for those neighbourhoods," adds President Balabanian. "The market won't change immediately, but we can track a shift as more inventory enters the market to meet the demand from buyers.Overall, pressure on pricing is easing because of the increase in inventory and the rate of increase of price is normalizing. As we have predicted, we are seeing the beginning of a gradual return to a balanced market in the Victoria area. In conditions such as the ones we see now, it's more important than ever to have an expert REALTOR® on your side whether you are buying or selling a property."
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in May 2016 was $706,500. The benchmark value for the same home in May 2017 has increased by 16.8 per cent to $825,500.

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Sales Still Constrained

May 1, 2017 - "The numbers we saw in April are a further indication that the market is gradually moving towards a more balanced state compared to the record setting pace of 2016." says 2017 Board President Ara Balabanian.

A total of 885 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 31.2 per cent fewer than the 1,286 properties sold in April last year. The ten year average for sales in April is 772 properties.

"We are starting to see hints of a more traditional spring market. Local agricultural production has been delayed due to the late spring, and so has the local real estate market," adds President Balabanian, "More sellers listed their homes for sale over the month of April compared to the month previous."

There were 1,690 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2017, an increase of 8.6 per cent compared to the month of March, but 34.8 per cent fewer than the 2,594 active listings for sale at the end of April 2016.

"Inventory is still low, which means that buyers may encounter multiple offer situations in some of the high demand areas - there is still more demand than supply," adds President Balabanian.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2016 was $684,900. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2017 has increased by 17.6 per cent to $805,100.

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Should you rent, or should you buy?

 

It’s a question that most Canadians will ask themselves at one point or another in their lifetime. Those who choose to rent often wonder if they’re wasting money. Those who buy may wonder whether or not their investment will be worth it in the long run. Though it’s clear home ownership offers many benefits, the decision to buy or rent is a personal choice that should be based on several factors.


4 Factors to consider:


1) Market Conditions – What is the price of real estate in your local market? It’s important to understand the market conditions and how they may affect prices before you decide to buy or rent.
2) Job Stability – Do you have a stable job and roots within your community? If your plan is to continue living in your community for the foreseeable future, home ownership may be the best option for you.
3) Time of life – What stage of life are you in? If you have a family, home ownership can provide a stable living situation without some of the uncertainties that are associated with renting.
4) Down payment – Do you have enough money saved up for an adequate down payment?


3 Benefits of home ownership:


1) Financial investment – Your monthly mortgage payment creates equity for you, not your landlord.
2) Quality of life – Owning a home can provide a sense of stability and control that you don’t often get from renting. There is a great feeling about coming home to a place that you own.
3) Do what you want – When you own your own home, there’s no need to get approval before you paint a wall or hang a piece of art. You can choose what minor and major renovations you make to the place you live in.


How I can help


As a licensed and expereienced REALTOR I can help you out if you’ve decided that home ownership is the next step for you. I can help you find the house most suitable for your needs.

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April 2, 2017 -  A total of 929 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, 17.1 per cent fewer than the 1,121 properties sold in March last year.

"We predicted early in the year that we wouldn't see a continuation of the record sales numbers that we saw in 2016," says 2017 Board President Ara Balabanian.  "However, we are still in a very active market, as evidenced by the fact that this is second highest March on record if you remove that record breaking 2016 data. We saw nearly 200 more transactions last month than March 2015, when 734 properties sold."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2016 was $663,300. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2017 has increased by 19.1 per cent to $790,100.

Inventory levels edged lower, with 1,556 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March 2017, 40.6 per cent fewer than the 2,618 active listings for sale at the end of March 2016.

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February 1, 2017 -  A total of 478 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 11.3 per cent fewer than the 539 properties sold in January last year.

Inventory levels edged lower, with 1,516 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2017, 38.6 per cent fewer than the 2,471 active listings at the end of January 2016.

"The numbers we saw last year are not the new normal. We know that we are not going to see sales volumes this year that meet or beat last year's record breaking numbers," notes 2017 Board President Ara Balabanian. "When compared to the month of January's ten year average, which is 384 transactions, sales in January 2017 are nearly 25 per cent higher than average. The least active January we saw in the past ten years was in 2009 with 247 sales, and the most active was last year."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January 2016 was $616,700. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2017 has increased by 24.4 per cent to $767,000.

"It's early in the year to make predictions," adds President Balabanian. "Over the last few decades, the historic cycle in Victoria is longer periods of stable activity and price followed by a rapid rise in activity and property values over a relatively short period of time. The coming months will provide us with a better idea of where we are in this cycle."

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B.C. homeowners are facing the new year with a new reality, property values have gone way up in some areas.

On Vancouver Island Oak Bay has seen the highest increase in value followed by the City of Victoria and Saanich, according to BC Assessment.

“In the Greater Victoria area, it’s about five to 40 per cent with the more typical range being about 10 to 25 per cent,” said Tina Ireland, director of assessment services with BC Assessment.

 

http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/sky-high-assessments-property-values-soar-in-greater-victoria-1.3225862

 

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A total of 471 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 1.3 per cent more than the 465 properties sold in December last year.
 
Inventory levels edged lower than last year, with 1,493 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2016, 40.7 per cent fewer than the 2,517 active listings at the end of December 2015.
"As we expected, 2016 broke records in terms of the number of properties sold in our area," notes Mike Nugent, outgoing 2016 President of the Board. "10,622 properties sold, which exceeds our previous high of 9,241 sales in 1991."
 
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2015 was $613,600. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2016 has increased by 23.6 per cent to $758,500.
 
"We expect sales to continue to be strong but we don't expect to see the phenomenal activity we saw in 2016 for 2017. Inventory continues to be low," adds President Nugent. "You can't sell something that isn't there. There is certainly an ongoing demand for properties. This is reflected in the fact that 25 per cent of sales this month sold over their asking price. The majority of these properties were in the up to $750,000 price point, so your average buyer will face a competitive market."

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A total of 599 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this November, 4.5 per cent more than the 573 properties sold in November last year.
 
Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 1,815 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of November 2016, 38.5 per cent fewer than the 2,952 active listings at the end of November 2015.
 
"Our current housing market is in a strong cycle due to many factors, including our current positive economic conditions, baby boomers retiring here, millennial buying cycles, a low Canadian dollar keeping folks closer to home and our favourable living conditions," notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. "These factors and others, in combination with ongoing low inventory mean demand for housing is up, particularly in those areas close to the core and amenities."
 
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in November 2015 was $608,600. The benchmark value for the same home in November 2016 has increased by 23.9 per cent to $753,800.
 
"Foreign buyers are another factor that affects our local housing market. The provincial government is considering implementation of a local tax on foreign buyers to ensure pressure on pricing from that source remains mitigated," adds President Nugent. "While October data shows an increase in foreign buyers into the Capital Regional District compared to previous months, their 6.3 per cent of property transfers indicate that these buyers are one factor in the marketplace. A much larger factor affecting affordability and availability right now is the lack of inventory. An effective method to address housing affordability issues could be through efforts to increase the supply of housing, either through adjustments to zoning or density."
 

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