There was a nearly 30 per cent decrease in home sales in Victoria in June compared to the same month in 2017. That’s according to the latest housing statistics published by the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB).
A total of 708 properties were sold in Greater Victoria in June 2018, 29.8 per cent fewer than the 1,008 properties sold in June 2017, according to VREB in it’s monthly report. Real estate transactions continued their steady decline in 2018, with 6 per cent fewer homes sold in June compared to May 2018. Sales of single family homes were down 35 per cent in June when compared to the same month in 2017, with 357 homes sold this June.
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“June typically signals the conclusion of the busy spring market, and activity lightens into the summer,” said VREB in its report, stating that slowing sales are mostly due to government policies to reduce demand, including federal restrictions on mortgage qualifications. An impending provincial “speculation tax” has also worked to cool demand.
In February’s budget, the B.C. government announced it would be introducing a new speculation tax. Homeowners who do not spend the majority of their time at their property and leave those homes empty will have to pay the tax.
The provincial government also plans to increase the foreign buyers’ tax from 15 to 20 per cent.
While sales were down in June, the number of houses on the market in Victoria actually increased.
VREB track a total of 2,595 active listings for sale in Victoria at the end of June 2018. This is an increase of 8.4 per cent compared to May, and nearly 36 per cent more than the 1,915 active listings for sale at the end of June 2017, a year previously.
“The good news is that inventory is slowly being added to the market, though we are still very far off from our ten year average inventory level of 4,100 listings, said VREB. “Homes are spending a bit longer on the market and there are fewer multiple offer situations than in the past, and if we see more listings over the next few months we may be heading back into a more balanced market situation.”
VREB reported a 7.2 per cent increase in the benchmark value for a single family home in Greater Victoria. In June 2018 a typical home sold for $889,600, as compared to June 2017, when a typical home sold for $829,600.
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