We didn’t have much of a winter in Victoria this year, I didn’t have to shovel snow even once and I was out bike riding and counting flowers in my front yard last week. Not that there’s anything very unusual about that, we really do enjoy mild weather enabling outdoor activities year round such as golf and we’re the cycling capital of Canada. Another of many reasons why so many visitors to Victoria decide to make this their home. We also enjoy an enviable quiet and safe lifestyle with level economy led by Tech 1st (which surprises most) and Tourism 2nd with Government 3rd (including our Pacific naval base and provincial government capital). It’s no wonder we have about 4,000 more newcomers (+1%) on a net basis annually.
The best way to describe our current real estate market in Victoria is simply “Hot!” The trend of increasing sales and decreasing supply of listings continued with 772 sales, an increase of 42.4% in sales this February compared to February of 2015 while the number of properties actively listed for sale declined 26.4% to just 2,562 listings compared to 3,480 at the end of February 2015. That brings us down to only an overall 3.5 month supply, down from about a 7 month supply at this time last year. It’s a hot sellers’ market and we are seeing many competing offer situations and price increases throughout most of our market, property types and price ranges. In addition to the normal steady stream of arrivals from our prairie provinces, we also welcome many relocating from Ontario. Despite our weak dollar we have yet to see the return of large numbers of Americans. The real change from the past is that we are continuing to welcome a much higher proportion of relocating buyers from Vancouver and the lower mainland than we have experienced in the past. Many of these relocating buyers have sold their homes for significant gains and buying better homes in our best neighbourhoods for a fraction of their windfall proceeds from the sale of their Vancouver properties. We also do have a significant number of wealthy investors and immigrants from China and Persian origins especially noticeable at higher price points, resulting in us routinely working with translators now.
The Victoria Real Estate Board reported:
We continue to see the effect of supply and demand on the market. Areas near the downtown core have limited inventory, with less new product coming on to the market. As a result we see more pressure on pricing there, and we see multiple offers. The West Shore and outlying areas have new housing developments coming into the market. Sales are brisk everywhere, but less competition is created in areas like the West Shore because of the area's ability to create supply to meet demand. We'll likely see more first time home buyers look to make purchases in outlying areas. The West Shore benchmark for a single family home right now is $432,600, which makes the area more affordable than the Victoria core, where the benchmark value is $200,000 more for a single family home. The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February, 2015 was $557,000. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2016 has increased by 14.7 per cent to $638,700.
The Neal Estate Team is standing by to help you navigate the decision-making process, ensuring you have access to information and advice based on current market conditions. In a busy market like we see now, our expertise will steer you to the best possible outcomes and can be the difference between a beautiful new home and a potentially frustrating and costly exercise. Whether considering Buying, Selling, or both, please contact us without hesitation for a free no obligation consultation.
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The Neal Estate Team is your #1 source for all of your Victoria BC real estate needs. Get in touch with us online or by phone at (250) 386-8181 to speak with a Victoria real estate buying or selling expert today. With decades of experience as a top selling Victoria REALTOR® and ranked in top 1% globally with over 4,000 transactions and $1 Billion SOLD, Ron Neal & The Neal Estate Team have the industry experience and market knowledge to help you make smart and informed buying or selling decisions.