HOME FINDER: Greater Victoria sales down, market still strong

Despite lower inventory levels, statistics from the month of March could prove the region’s real estate market is heating back up. - Katherine Engvist/News Gazette staff
Despite lower inventory levels, statistics from the month of March could prove the region’s real estate market is heating back up.
— image credit: Katherine Engvist/News Gazette staff

While many properties up for sale on the West Shore are still moving fast, the number of homes sold isn’t quite measuring up to the pace set in 2017.

“In spite of the low inventory, the real estate market in Victoria is robust,” said Ara Balabanian, Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) president in a statement. “(But) 2017 won’t match 2016 in terms of huge sales numbers, due to many factors, including the present lack of inventory.”

Inventory levels continue to edge lower in 2017, with 1,614 active listings so far for the month of March on the VREB Multiple Listing Service. At the end of February there were 1,537 active listings. That’s a roughly 40-per-cent drop from the roughly 2,560 listings active at the end of February 2016.

But despite the decline, home sales are still going strong in the region.

“The 10-year average for (property) sales in February is 542, so we are well within expected numbers for this time of the year In fact, this February’s sales are the second-highest in the past 10 years,” Balabanian noted.

Last month 675 properties were sold in the VREB region, representing a roughly 12-per-cent drop from the 772 properties sold in February 2016.

“The low number of homes for sale in our marketplace can put pressure on pricing,” Balabanian continued. “The good news is we have seen an increase in new listings.”

So far, March has seen 484 new listings. February’s count was 880, up from 753 in January, but down from last year’s 1,160 new listings that month. It’s something Balabanian and Realtors across the region will have their eyes on. “We’ll be watching the numbers in March closely to see if more sellers decide to get into the market as spring arrives,” he said.

The first few months of 2017, he added, were also subjected to something that may be normal in other Canadian markets, but doesn’t usually have too much of a cooling effect on the West Shore or the rest of the Capital Region.

“The snowfall in the Victoria area certainly cancelled many open houses and may have put a damper on sales.”


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