The summer months are traditionally a time when Greater Victoria real estate agents get a chance to take a breather and spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the housing market.
This year has been unlike any in recent memory, however, with home inventories down and sellers needing to have their next home in place before selling their existing ones. It all creates a little extra work for agents, even during a time when the sales figures are lower than other times of the year.
“The numbers are seasonably softer than, say, the April to May period when we were selling nearly 1,300 homes. But it was still a 19-per-cent increase over last year,” Victoria Real Estate Board president Mike Nugent of DFH Real Estate said of August, when 883 homes sold.
“It is busy and I’m hearing and seeing lots of multiple offers. But we’re not seeing as many big numbers over listing price, because I think listing prices have now caught up to the market.”
The frenzied spring demand, which diminished the inventory of homes and left many buyers scrambling to find the home they really wanted, caught agents, buyers and sellers rather off guard, Nugent said.
Looking at the August numbers, he was surprised at the resurgence in condominiums, which he said were selling for slightly more than asking price. That is in stark contrast to previous years when the glut of units on the market and the availability and affordability of detached homes kept condo prices down.
One of the biggest issues right now, he said, is vendors’ concern around their next step after selling their home. “People don’t want to put theirs on the market unless they have something to go to. I suspect we could have done more (sales) in the summer if that wasn’t the case.”
A fast sale is almost a certainty today if one’s home is priced right and is in reasonable condition. Given that scenario, Nugent said, “I don’t think anybody’s accepting offers subject to the sale of (the prospective buyer’s) home.”
September, characterized by back to school and people re-organizing their lives for a new season, tends to also be one of the more quieter months of the year, with sales roughly matching those in August.
But again, this is a different year and no one is counting on a slow time.
As for taking that much-needed time off, agents rely on the help of their colleagues to temporarily work with clients, Nugent said.
With the lack of housing stock causing some stress for both agents and buyers, he said, it’s important to take some time away. Doing so allows them to return refreshed and able to tackle the hard work of matching their clients with the right home.
GREATER VICTORIA MARKET UPDATE » MONTH TO DATE SEPT. 6/16 COURTESY VICTORIA REAL ESTATE BOARD
» 104/704 — NET UNCONDITIONAL SALES / TOTAL, SEPTEMBER 2015
» 108/962 — NEW LISTINGS / TOTAL, SEPTEMBER 2015
» 2,011/3,478 — ACTIVE RESIDENTIAL LISTINGS / TOTAL, SEPTEMBER 2015