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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It can be tough to find the perfect place to live.

Each neighbourhood has its pros and cons, and the definition of an ideal neighbourhood can change depending on your stage of life. Young families may want to live walking distance away from the school their child attends. Millennial singles may be more interested in an area that is close to downtown.

We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to find out the best advice they give their clients who are seeking out the perfect neighbourhood.

What’s important to you?

When looking for a home, it’s important that you consider your top priorities in terms of location.

One RE/MAX Influencer put it best, “I always advise to consider distance to work, desired schools and kids’ activities. You can change anything about a home, except its location.”

If a large yard is important, you may want to consider looking in an older neighbourhood. If a newer house is important, you may have to live with the fact that the yard will likely be smaller with less privacy, due to the lack of mature trees.

Driving times to work, proximity to golf courses, shopping and services will also likely be factors that you consider before choosing a neighbourhood to live in.

Your budget will have an impact on your decision as well. Several RE/MAX Influencers noted that they often remind their clients to consider re-sale value.

You may also want to consider air and water quality, busyness of the street, and even how much snow accumulates on average during the winter.

Work with an agent who understands your needs

It’s important that you are working with a real estate agent who understands what’s important to you. Your REALTOR® should be asking you questions to understand your needs as a buyer so they can help guide you through the process.

“I need to know exactly what is important to my clients so I can help with the particular neighbourhood choices. The perfect neighbourhood is different for each client,” said a RE/MAX Influencer.

Think long-term

Although it’s important to think about your immediate needs, it’s also vital that you think about what your needs may be five or 10 years down the road.

If your child has one more year of elementary school before he/she graduates to junior high, the proximity of the middle school to your house is equally, if not more important, than the distance to the elementary school.

“I tell my clients to keep in mind that they will likely be in their new home and neighbourhood for at least 5 years. They should consider what their needs may be within those 5 years.”

 
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Victoria BC November 2, 2016

 

A total of 735 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, a single property more than the 734 properties sold in October last year.
 
Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 1,938 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2016, 38.9 per cent fewer than the 3,170 active listings at the end of October 2015.
 
"We continue to see low inventory hindering sales in the local market," notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. "Though our numbers are down from the record setting pace set this summer, the market is still moving quickly and is still very competitive for certain properties. High demand areas like Saanich and Oak Bay continue to see multiple offers and areas in the West Shore are also seeing sales over listed prices. In other areas, prices remain firm because of high demand and extremely limited inventory."
 
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in October 2015 was $608,200. The benchmark value for the same home in October 2016 has increased by 24.1 per cent to $755,000.
 
"The federal government's change to mortgage lending rules has also impacted buyers," adds President Nugent. "Buyers that require mortgage insurance are able to qualify for significantly smaller mortgages than before the rule change and this is further limiting their options in a very restricted market. Some buyers have postponed their search in order to save up more of a down payment so they can work within these new limitations."

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The summer selling-season frenzy is over, but fall has just as much (if not more) sales-inducing mojo to offer. The crisp autumn weather gives home hunters new incentive to find that perfect house to snuggle into before the rainy season starts. Here are some surefire season-sensitive tips to make sure it’s yours that they choose

Clean up the Yard
Plant fall flowers
Ensure outside lights and doorbell are working
Tune up the furnace
Squeaky Clean Fireplace
Wash the windows

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October 3 2016, Victoria, BC

A total of 781 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this September, an increase of 10.9 per cent compared to the 704 properties sold in September last year.

Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 2,061 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of September 2016, 40.7 per cent fewer than the 3,478 active listings at the end of September 2015.

"This is the lowest level of inventory on the market in September that we have on record [since 1996]," notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. "This continuing lack of inventory holds up sales. The market is still strong, but not moving at the pace we saw earlier in the year. This slowdown is typical with what we expect in the fall to winter season and may be more pronounced as a result of buyer fatigue, due to the lack of available inventory."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in September 2015 was $607,100. The benchmark value for the same home in September 2016 has increased by 22.8 per cent to $745,700.

"We have already exceeded the number of sales that we saw in 2015, with a full quarter remaining in the year," adds President Nugent. "And there is still strong demand, thanks to underlying fundamentals in our province - the GDP is up, employment numbers are up, retail and population growth is up. All of these contribute to current market conditions. We also see no indication that the new foreign buyer Property Transfer Tax in Metro Vancouver has pushed foreign buyers into our market in a substantial way, though we continue to track that as a possibility."

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A spacious home can be incredibly appealing to potential buyers. No one wants to live in a space that seems cramped and cluttered.

Even if your house is relatively small, there are ways you can maximize the space you do have.

We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to find out their top tips for making your home seem more spacious to potential buyers.

Declutter and stage

Clearing countertops, removing knickknacks and getting rid of oversized furniture are key first steps to make your space appear as spacious as possible.

Several Influencers mentioned “less is more” when it comes to furniture and accessories. Your best bet is to leave only a few subtle, decorative items.

“Keep in mind that when showing your house, there could be four or five people wandering through at once. Make sure they can go from room to room without bumping into anything,” said a RE/MAX Influencer.

Hiring someone to stage your home will likely be a worthwhile investment. It may also be worth it to rent a storage space during the period when your house is being shown.

Brighten it up

Walls that have light colours and good lighting can go a long way toward making your home look more spacious. It’s also a good idea to have window coverings opened to allow as much natural light in as possible.

Eliminate mats and certain area rugs to help focus on floor area; remove large photos to help the space on the walls stand out.

“It’s simple: Clean, crisp colours, open spaces, open window coverings, brighter lightbulbs and less clutter will showcase the space within your house.”

Smaller furniture = larger room

Bulky pieces of furniture are often the culprit for making spaces appear smaller than they are. Depending on the layout, a large sectional couch may be better in the basement than in a main floor living space.

Arranging furniture in groupings, away from walls, can have the desired effect of making your room seem bigger. Also, if your dining table has leafs, remove them to maximize the space. Add crown molding to heighten the stature of the room.

“A great rule of thumb is: The more wall space and floor space that is visible, the better.”





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August 2 2016, Victoria, BC
 
A total of 972 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this July, an increase of 22 per cent compared to the 796 properties sold in July last year.
 
"Though we saw the seasonal slowdown that we expect this time of year, we had another record breaking month," says Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. "The last time we saw a July this busy was in 2009 when 933 properties sold."
 
Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 2,161 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of July 2016, 45 per cent fewer than the 3,942 active listings at the end of July 2015.
 
"Late last week the provincial government approved new legislation that may affect the real estate market in our area, though at this time we can only guess how a foreign investor's tax in the Metro Vancouver region will impact sales here in Victoria," adds Nugent. "Recent data released by the government shows that nearly ten per cent of property transfers in Metro Vancouver involved foreign nationals. This is part of the rationale for applying a fifteen per cent tax on transactions only in Metro Vancouver at this time. Does this mean international demand will spill over into Victoria and other areas of BC? We won't know until we see the data.The Capital Regional District saw two per cent out of country buyers in the year of 2015. Although this is a small percentage of our buyers, anecdotally foreign buyers do tend to favour the same core neighbourhoods and therefore can have an impact on those areas."
 
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in July, 2015 was $599,800. The benchmark value for the same home in July 2016 has increased by 23.6 per cent to $741,100.

Find the Statistics Package as released to media here.

The full Stats Package will be posted on the website early afternoon.
 

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A section of Wilkinson Road will close for six months June 6, diverting up to 15,000 drivers a day to alternative routes. Wilkinson Road will be closed between Mann Avenue and Greenlea Drive for construction of a new bridge — part of a $6.5-million infrastructure project.

The new bridge replaces the 1935-built Lindsay Street Bridge with a seismic and safety improved design, according to the District of Saanich. The project upgrades utilities in the area and adds bike lanes, pedestrian walkways, a foot bridge and 200 new trees. Local access to the area is limited to residents, emergency services and municipal services, from each end of the closure to the bridge.

Saanich is asking the public to plan alternative routes and avoid the area if possible.

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June 1, 2016 Victoria, BC

A total of 1,289 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this May, an increase of 42.4 per cent compared to the 905 properties sold in the same month last year.

Inventory levels remain lower than the previous year, with 2,406 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of May, 40.5 per cent fewer than the 4,043 active listings at the end of May 2015.

"These are very interesting times in local real estate," notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. "The market we are experiencing has exceeded our expectations. There are influences in the marketplace that we do not fully understand yet, like the impact of out-of-town buyers and millenials moving into the market, and the seemingly sudden international attention our island city has started to receive. And some folks may be buying now because they are concerned that the market is going to continue to increase in value. Traditionally spring is the most active season for real estate, so it will be interesting to see if this feverish pace continues into the summer months."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in May, 2015 was $593,200. The benchmark value for the same home in May 2016 has increased by 19 per cent to $706,500.

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