Sales are slow and listings are increasing according to the March 2019 figures from the Victoria Real Estate Board. (VREB) (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

Real estate sales remain sluggish as prices drop in some parts of Saanich

Victoria Real Estate Board president predicts ‘somewhat static’ real estate market

New figures show a drop in home prices for parts of Saanich, but the overall picture is more mixed.

According to the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB), the benchmark price for a single family home in Saanich West (areas in Saanich west of Highway 17) was $734,100 in March 2019 — down from $755,400 six month and on par with the figure a year ago ($735,100). This said, the current benchmark price for the area is still above the same period three years ago, when it stood at $563,200.

RELATED: Greater Victoria real estate sales dropped almost 24 per cent in January 2019 over January 2018

The benchmark price for Saanich East (areas in Saanich east of Highway 17 including Cordova Bay, Cadboro Bay and Royal Oak) is trending up again. Six month ago, it stood at $900,300, dropping to $860,400 a month ago, before trending upwards to $863,200.

This local trendline, however, might be more noise than signal.

The benchmark price for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2019 was $843,600 — down by almost three per cent from the February 2019 benchmark of $845,900, and down from the March 2018 benchmark of $867,900.

While sales across the region rose 52 per cent in March 2019 compared to February 2019, year-to-year sales were down seven per cent.

RELATED: West Shore real estate sales fall along with the rest of Greater Victoria

Cheryl Woolley, VREB’s president, said the mortgage stress test continues to put additional pressure on lower-priced properties by reducing the borrowing power of many would-be buyers and pushing many into an already compressed price bracket with limited inventory.

“We continue to see a somewhat static local real estate market through March,” she said. “Like in February, [realtors] have been busy showing properties and discussing strategy with buyers and sellers, while the sales numbers themselves continue to be relatively flat when compared with last year. These market conditions are not a surprise. Consumers continue to adjust to the…mortgage qualification rules and the long-term, low inventory of homes.”

Listings, however, are increasing, she said.


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