While Victoria real estate sales increased in February compared to January, year-over-year sales have decreased. That’s according the Victoria Real Estate Board in its most recent real estate statistics report.
A total of 421 properties were sold across Victoria in February 2019, a 23 per cent decline compared to the 545 properties sold in February 2018. Still, February 2019 home sales in Victoria were increased by 28 per cent increase from January 2019.
Sales of condominiums were down 26 per cent compared to February 2018 but were up from January 2019 by 16 per cent.
Sales of single family homes were down 16 per cent from February 2018 with 219 sold.
“Buyers and sellers appear to be looking at the current real estate market from different perspectives,” said VREB in its monthly report for February 2019. “Buyers are hoping to see reductions in prices because governments have told the public that policies like the mortgage stress test and the speculation tax will improve affordability.”
However, VREB says the actual result of some of these policies seems to have softened the higher priced end of the market and increased competition for properties at the lower priced end.
On the other hand, according to VREB’s February analysis, sellers may be holding out to see if prices increase in the spring, and those hoping to up-size may be unable to qualify for the funds needed to move up because of the stress test.
While sales may have been down, the number of homes for sale in Victoria has increased year-over-year.
There were 2,131 active listings for sale on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for the Victoria region at the end of February 2019, an increase of 3.6 per cent compared to January 2019, and a 38 per cent increase from the 1,545 active listings for sale at the end of February 2018.
The MLS benchmark value for a single family home in Greater Victoria declined slightly year-over-year.
In February 2018 the benchmark price was $848,600. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2019 decreased by 0.3 per cent to $845,900, lower than January’s value of $847,800.
“Currently, we still have very low inventory compared to the long-term average with little having come into the market this past month,” said VREB. “As the spring thaw comes, there’s a good chance more listings will come onto the market which will create more options for prospective buyers. Homes in sought-after areas and those that are lower priced remain in high demand.”