December Stats Confirm Slowing Market: VREB

Happy new year! We hope that you and yours had a wonderful holiday season and got a chance to enjoy some downtime. As we get ready to start taking down Christmas decorations, Victoria Real Estate Board has released its stat package on how things looked in December.

Here is the rundown:
  • 375 properties (total) changed hands
  • ↓ 18.8 per cent from December 2017
  • ↓ 24.7 per cent from November 2018

  • 103 condo sales
  • ↓ 24.3 per cent from December 2017

  • 174 single-family home sales
  • ↓ 26.6 per cent from December 2017

Over the course of the entire year, 7,150 properties sold, translating to 20 per cent fewer than 2017. But last year’s numbers were much closer to the 10-year average, which was 7,351. The condo world saw 2,162 sales in 2018, and 2,783 in 2017. Single-family homes saw 3,187 transactions last year, way down from the 4,069 sales in 2017.

“The story arc in real estate this year has been the impact of government influence on a market which was showing signs of levelling out through the latter part of 2017,” says outgoing VREB President Kyle Kerr.

The main focus, as we know, has been government trying to make housing more accessible and affordable. The federal government changed the way people qualify for mortgages at the beginning of 2018 and then increased the prime lending rate over the course of the year, putting pressure on people’s purchasing power and ultimately slowing the market. However, it did help park people’s financial plans in a more secure and real foundation.

While the pressure in our region still exists, the municipal and provincial government are working towards increasing affordable housing options, including the provincial government’s promise for huge investments into new affordable developments.

  • 1,988 active listings at the end of December 2018
  • ↓ 15.2 per cent from November 2018
  • ↑ 43.6 per cent from December 2017

The benchmark value for a single-family home in the Victoria core, for December 2018, was $858,600, a 3.2 per cent increase over last year, but this is lower than November’s price of $865,200. The benchmark value for a condo, for December 2018, was $502,400, an 8.2 per cent increase over last year, but this is slightly higher than November’s price of $500,500.

President Kerr says, and we agree, “The market in 2019 will continue to be quieter than in previous years, as buyers and sellers adjust to new market conditions and government policies.” Inventory continues to be lower than the 10-year average and, coupled with a slowing economy in general, buyers and sellers will have to be smart. Buyers, in theory, will have more time to make decisions and sellers won’t feel the same stress if they have to move within this market.

To read the full statistical package, click here:

We will continue to chart and navigate these changes, and we are always available to talk about what the market is doing. Having a trusted real estate advisor in your corner is an important factor, ensuring you are making this market work for you.
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Until next time!

Kaley + Mike