Cheryl Woolley, president of Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB), says new real estate figures for July 2019 point towards a stable market (Black Press File)

Greater Victoria real estate sales up in July 2019 compared to July 2018

VREB’s president says sellers are adjusting to new realities

The president of the local real estate board predicts a relatively stable real market after the release of new figures.

“Things have been pretty level,” said Cheryl Woolley, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB), when commenting on real estate figures for July 2019. While July 2019 sales rose 8.4 per cent compared to July 2018, sales dropped 4.6 per cent compared to June 2019. Prices, meanwhile, dropped. The benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core was $858,800 in July 2019 — down 3.4 per cent from July 2018.

Woolley said this relationship between rising sales and dropping prices marks a departure from previous years when sales rose along with prices.

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“We have levelled off,” she said. “Sellers are adjusting to new realities. So there has been price dropping.”

Sales of single family homes rose 2.1 per cent, while sales of condominiums rose 14.4 per cent. What accounts for this relationship?

Woolley said it is a question of affordability. She had said earlier that realtors continue to report strong interest in entry-level homes as well as properties that are competitively priced, with prices for high-end homes softer.

Looking at specific municipalities, a single-family home cost $831,700 in Victoria, $871,100 in Saanich East, $754,000 in Saanich West, $637,500 in Langford, and $1.21 million in Oak Bay.

The total number of sales in July reached 303 with a total value of $253.8 million.

Writing on househuntvictoria.ca last month local real estate expert Leo Spalteholz raised the possibility that July sales could hit almost 750.

“A little surprising to see this amount of activity in July when sales usually back off from June,” said Spalteholz, who wondered whether changes in mortgage rules would end up attracting more buyers.

In the end, 706 properties sold in July, just below the long run average of 720 for the month. So while actual sales did not fulfill the high expectations raised earlier in the month, July was nonetheless better than expected.

“July’s statistics show that our region’s housing market continues to be fairly active, despite many people being in summer vacation mode,” said Woolley earlier.


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