Newer construction homes on the West Shore continue to move quickly in the current market.

Newer construction homes on the West Shore continue to move quickly in the current market.

HOMEFINDER: Inventory plentiful, sales positive

Real estate market remains in a healthy position to start 2015

West Shore real estate is a key component to the Greater Victoria scene.

And with property sales rising slightly  last month over the same period the previous year, area buyers and sellers continue to have plenty of choice and a healthy customer base.

The Victoria Real Estate Board’s monthly property sales numbers are either up or staying still, depending on how you choose to look at the figures.

In January, 2015, for example, 351 properties sold in Greater Victoria, an increase of 2.6 per cent when compared to the 342 properties sold in the same month last year.

“We don’t expect to see big numbers in January,” says board president Guy Crozier.

“It’s a slower month traditionally for real estate. Even this slight increase after the 11.67 per cent year over year increase in sales we saw in 2014 shows the continued stability of our market. There’s also a good balance of inventory available for sale, which will likely appeal to buyers as the spring season hits. Last month while we saw 10 single family homes sold for over $1 million, there were also 95 homes sold for under $500,000.”

At the end of January there were 3,283 active listings for sale on the Multiple Listing Service, a slight decrease from the 3,489 in January 2014.

This continues a trend that started in mid-2013 where there are fewer listings in the market than there were in the same month of the year previous.

Right now, there are 172 listings between $300,000 and $500,000 in the Colwood, Langford, View Royal and Highlands municipalities.

That number jumps up to 231 listings when you raise the top-end to $600,000, which makes sense, considering the MLS Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core this time last year was $548,500.

The benchmark value for the same home this month has increased by 2.39 per cent to $561,600.

“With the change in mortgage rates surprising some, and the continuing low oil prices and Canadian dollar, the spring real estate market should be an interesting one to watch,” Crozier adds.

mdavies@goldstreamgazette.com

Q: WHAT’S ON THE NEW VICTORIA REAL ESTATE BOARD SITE?

The Victoria Real Estate Board has a clean, new online presence for people looking to buy or sell a home or commercial property.

The board’s remodeled website is chock full of useful information that can help you buy or sell your home or business.

With one click you can view all the open houses in Greater Victoria over the next week, with every listing laid out on a detailed map with time, with price, MLS number and more. Plan out your viewings with this handy regularly updated tool.

If you are a number cruncher, current MLS statistics, trends, number of active residential and commercial listings and the number of properties sold are a click or two away. Even comparisons to previous years can all be found here. Want to go deeper? Historical stats are there too.

New to the area? Detailed information on the different municipalities and neighbourhoods are detailed for your convenience.

These and other features, such as the board’s charity giving opportunities, are available at vreb.org.

GREATER VICTORIA MARKET UPDATE » MONTH ENDING JAN. 31/15 VICTORIA REAL ESTATE BOARD

» 351 / 342 — NET UNCONDITIONAL SALES/ TOTAL,  JAN. 2014

» 1,027 / 1,090 –NEW LISTINGS / TOTAL, JAN. 2014

» 3,283 / 3,489 — ACTIVE RESIDENTIAL LISTINGS / TOTAL, JAN. 2014