Homes in Greater Victoria

Fewer homes in Greater Victoria were sold in May, even as there were more active listings on the market. Despite the lower sales volume, the price of real estate in Victoria continues to climb.

A total of 755 properties were sold in Greater Victoria in May 2018, 25 per cent fewer compared to the previous year, when 1,006 properties sold in May 2017, said the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) in its monthly update. May 2018 home sales in Victoria also decreased by 2.5 per cent compared to April.

While there were fewer sales, the number of active listings increased.

There were a total of 2,394 active listings for sale on the Victoria Multiple Listing Service (MLS) at the end of May 2018, an increase of 20 per cent compared to the previous month, April, and 26 per cent more than a year earlier in May 2017.

One Third Fewer Single Family Homes for Sale Under $750,000

According to VREB, a slew of recent tax changes have had a massive effect on Victoria’s real estate market.

“Due to recent changes in mortgage qualification rules, many buyers’ purchasing power has been reduced,” said VREB. “Unfortunately, in our area we have one third fewer single family homes for sale under $750,000 when compared to last year, so we’re seeing pressure from increased competition on a smaller number of homes, which is really pushing the under million dollar market.”

According to VREB data, as of May 2018, the benchmark value for a single family home in Greater Victoria has increased by 7 per cent year-over-year to $878,100 — in May 2017 the same home would have sold for $820,800.

While there is more competition for homes priced under $750,000, VREB says there is a much larger inventory of higher-value homes this year.

“For listings priced at $1.5 million and above, the number of active listings is almost 50% higher than last year at this time,” says VREB. “Arguably, many of these properties may be listed due to new and incoming taxes from the provincial government. The Foreign Buyer Property Transfer Tax, the Speculation Tax, and the increased School Tax are putting pressure on those high value homeowners.”

According to VREB, the new provincial taxes are doing nothing to increase the availability of affordable housing, but have instead added more higher-end inventory to the market.

The real estate market can also differ across different neighbourhoods in Victoria.

“We are seeing different levels of price pressure and price relief in micro-climates of our area,” says VREB. “You may find more flexibility if you are shopping for a multi-million dollar estate in certain areas. You may be in for a competition if you’re shopping for a lower priced home or condominium.”

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