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Victoria real estate market still adjusting to federal government changes

A total of 640 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, 7 per cent fewer than the 688 properties sold in March 2018 but a 52 per cent increase from February 2019. Sales of condominiums were down 7.1 per cent from March 2018 with 196 units sold but were up from February 2019 by 51.9 per cent. Sales of single family homes were down 4.5 per cent from March 2018 with 322 sold.

“We continue to see a somewhat static local real estate market through March,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “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 B20 mortgage qualification rules and the long-term, low inventory of homes. The good news is we have seen a month-over-month increase of active listings on the market – though we remain well under the ten-year average of 3,403.”

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Victoria real estate market awaits a spring thaw

A total of 421 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 22.8 per cent fewer than the 545 properties sold in February 2018 but a 28 per cent increase from January 2019. Sales of condominiums were down 25.9 per cent from February 2018 with 129 units sold but were up from January 2019 by 16.2 per cent. Sales of single family homes were down 15.8 per cent from February 2018 with 219 sold.

“Buyers and sellers appear to be looking at the current real estate market from different perspectives,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “Buyers are hoping to see reductions in prices because governments have told the public that policies like the mortgage stress test and the speculation tax will improve affordability. However, the actual result of some of these policies seems to have softened the higher priced end of the market and increased competition for properties at the lower priced end. Conversely, sellers may be holding out to see if prices increase in the spring, and those hoping to up-size may be unable to qualify for the funds needed to move up because of the stress test.”

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Victoria Real Estate Market’s cool conditions continue

A total of 329 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 23.7 per cent fewer than the 431 properties sold in January 2018 and a 12.3 per cent decrease from December 2018. Sales of condominiums were down 5.9 per cent from January 2018 with 111 units sold but were up from December 2018 by 7.8 per cent. Sales of single family homes were down 29.3 per cent from January 2018 with 152 sold.

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Victoria Real Estate Market responds as expected to the changing market conditions of 2018

A total of 375 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 18.8 per cent fewer than the 462 properties sold in December 2017 and a 24.7 per cent decrease from November 2018. Sales of condominiums were down 24.3 per cent from 2017 in December with 103 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 26.6 per cent from December 2017 with 174 sold.

A grand total of 7,150 properties sold over the course of 2018, 20 per cent fewer than the 8,994 sold in 2017. 2018 sales came in very close to the ten-year average of 7,351 properties sold. Condominium sales totalled 2,162 in 2018, compared to 2,783 in 2017. Single family home sales were down from 4,069 in 2017 to 3,187 in 2018.
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The Victoria real estate market chills out for winter

A total of 498 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this November, 25.8 per cent fewer than the 671 properties sold in November of last year and a 16.7 per cent decrease from October 2018. Sales of condominiums were down 30.9 per cent from last year in November with 152 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 20.8 per cent from 2017 with 267 sold this November.

“We certainly anticipated a difference this year in terms of sales for November compared to last year,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. “This time last year, the government announced plans to change mortgage lending qualification rules and our market saw a rush of activity as buyers tried to beat that new lending criteria which was rolled out January first. Our ten-year average of units sold for the month of November is 515, which is likely a better comparison than to the unusual market conditions we saw last year.” Continue reading

The Victoria real estate market’s return to balance not linear, but also not unexpected

A total of 598 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, 9.9 per cent fewer than the 664 properties sold in October of last year, but a 12.2 per cent increase from September 2018. Sales of condominiums were down 15.5 per cent from last year in October with 180 units sold, but up 20.8 per cent when compared to September 2018. Sales of single family homes were down 14.7 per cent from 2017 with 289 sold this October, 1.4 per cent more than the previous month.

“We continue to see the housing market shift into a more balanced state, though the trajectory is not smooth,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. “This month had slower sales compared to last year and a slightly lower level of inventory coming into the market, but it also had an increase in sales from last month, which may surprise some people. The moderating changes over last year have been punctuated with some competition and price pressure on lower and mid-priced homes while the upper end of the market has softened slightly. Right now pricing is key across all segments as we transition to a more balanced market.”

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Victoria Real Estate Market Continues to Stabilize

A total of 533 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this September, 16.7 per cent fewer than the 640 properties sold in September of last year, and a 10.3 per cent decrease from August 2018. Sales of condominiums were down 30.4 per cent from last year in September with 149 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 9.2 per cent from 2017 with 285 sold this September.

“This year’s housing market has continued to behave as we’ve expected, moderating after the record setting pace of 2016 and adjusting to various government measures such as tightening mortgage qualification rules that were intended to cool the market,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. “We continue to see a reduction in sales when we compare to recent years and prices stabilizing across the market, with some variation in value in niche, higher end homes.”

There were a total of 2,646 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of September 2018, an increase of 5 per cent compared to the month of August and 33.9 per cent more than the 1,976 active listings for sale at the end of September 2017.

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Victoria Housing Market Still Finding Its Balance

August 1, 2018  A total of 651 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this July, 17.6 per cent fewer than the 790 properties sold in July of last year, and an 8.1 per cent decrease from June 2018. Sales of condominiums were down 22.6 per cent from last year in July with 188 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 16.5 per cent from 2017 with 340 sold this July.

“We are in a different market now than what we have seen for the past two years,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. “And while we see inventory creeping up after the drought in 2017, especially in the multi-million-dollar range, across our region there are 30 per cent fewer homes listed for sale under $750,000 than this time last year. This means that if you are shopping in the $750,000-or-less bracket, you are in a fast-moving market with low inventory. For example, of the 176 single family detached properties sold in our Core and Malahat regions during the month of July, only 59 (34%) were listed for $750,000 or less. And of those, 28 (47%) sold at or over list price. This illustrates the high demand for homes at or below this price point, and the pressure that is still pushing that segment of our market. If you are looking for a home priced at $1.5 million or above, there is more selection than last year and those homes are sitting on the market longer. For the first seven months of 2017 there were 481 single family detached properties for sale listed at $1.5 million or above. For the same time period in 2018, there were 664 properties for sale in this range, an increase of 27.6 per cent.”

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Continued uncertainty brings predictable results for the Victoria real estate market

A total of 708 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this June, 29.8 per cent fewer than the 1,008 properties sold in June of last year, and a 6.2 per cent decrease from May 2018. The sales of condominiums were down 25.1 per cent from last year in June with 230 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 34.7 per cent from 2017 with 357 sold this June.

“June typically signals the conclusion of the busy spring market, and activity lightens into the summer,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. “However, because of decelerating growth due to aggressive government implementation of policies to reduce demand, Victoria’s real estate market has been hobbled since the start of the year when federal restrictions around mortgage qualifications were rolled out. Even demand side measures that are not yet live, like the Vancouver/Kelowna/Nanaimo/Victoria-specific Speculation Tax, are dragging the market down as many consumers stand aside to watch what happens.”

There were a total of 2,595 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of June 2018, an increase of 8.4 per cent compared to the month of May and 35.5 per cent more than the 1,915 active listings for sale at the end of June 2017.

“The good news is that inventory is slowly being added to the market, though we are still very far off from our ten year average inventory level of 4,100 listings” adds President Kerr. “The slower pace of the market has created more time for buyers who may have been hesitant to jump in during the high pressure market conditions of recent years
. Homes are spending a bit longer on the market and there are fewer multiple offer situations than in the past, and if we see more listings over the next few months we may be heading back into a more balanced market situation. Every type and location of property is a separate segment of our market, and there are varying pressures and demands, so if you are buying or selling it is wise to take advantage of the services of your local REALTOR® to help navigate this changing market.”

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Article from VREB.org

Six top landlord cities for 2018 – Victoria Number One!

With an overall vacancy rate of 3 per cent nationally, Canada’s rental markets can present opportunities for investors in smaller B.C. regions and across the Prairies – with a few notable exceptions.
In B.C., urban areas and suburbs in close proximity to downtown Vancouver tend to trend below 1 per cent vacancies. Though pricey, demand in cities like Burnaby and East Vancouver provide landlords with a steady source of income and potential for an increase in property value.
Kelowna and New Westminster per-door prices are relatively cheaper than Burnaby and East Vancouver and offer higher cap rates for mid-range investors, while Winnipeg offers prospective landlords a chance to enter the Prairie’s most secure economy.
Here are Western Investor’s six picks for the best landlord markets in Western Investor in 2018:

1. Victoria

Rental vacancy rate: 0.7 per cent

Average one-bedroom rent: $1,070

Average price per door: $215,000

Victoria’s rental market vacancy is less than 1 per cent, and is forecast by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. to remain tight throughout 2018. Though capitalization rates remain among the lowest in B.C., rents trend are slightly lower than that of most Vancouver neighbourhoods.
Rental vacancy is even slighter in Vancouver Island’s most populous area of Saanich, just north of Victoria, at 0.5 per cent per cent.
Colliers International places the average price per rental suite at $215,000 and rising.

2. Winnipeg

Rental vacancy rate: 2.8 per cent

Average one-bedroom rental: $845

Average price per door: $100,000

Winnipeg’s rental vacancy rate was remained unchanged at 2.8 per cent in 2017 – lowest on the Prairies – according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. “Winnipeg’s vacancy rate holds steady as increasing supply was offset by growing demand,” the corporation noted. “Strong migration figures have put downward pressure on the vacancy rate.”
Unlike other Prairie cities, Winnipeg’s labour market isn’t as affected by the oil recession. Positive labour market conditions and an increase in employment in 2017 have kept rental demand strong.
With capitalization rates in a healthy 5.5 per cent range and the average city apartment building selling for just above $100,000 per door, Manitoba’s capital offers the best landlord potential on the Prairies, despite a rush of new rental construction in 2017 that added nearly 2,000 new units to the market.

3. Kelowna

Rental vacancy rate: 0.2 per cent

Average one-bedroom rent: $1,150

Average price per door: $135,000

Kelowna has been lauded as a top-tier investment destination and the city’s multi-family market is no exception. The city’s tech sector is now accounting for $1.3 billion in revenue and playing host to more than 200 companies. The region’s active tourism sector also drives short-term rental popularity through the summer.
The rental vacancy, now at 0.2 per cent, may inch up slightly next year as new developments by JV Development Group and Mission Group add rental supply to the market. Approximately 1,150 new purpose-built rental apartments started in 2017, up almost 140 per cent over 2016.
Kelowna’s Rental Housing Grants program provides up to $320,000 in annual grants for purpose-built rental housing projects.
Based on recent Kelowna apartment building sales, prices are from $105,000 to $166,000 per door and capitalization rates are in the 4.5 per cent to 6 per cent range.

4. New Westminster

Rental vacancy rate: 1.1 per cent

Average one-bedroom rental: $1,330

Average price per door: $288,474

With SkyTrain stations and new Evergreen line access to the Tri-Cities, the Royal City is gaining traction as Metro Vancouver’s “other” downtown. It also has a growing economy, fired by a $1 billion expansion of medical facilities at Royal Columbian Hospital, a booming brewery district anchored by Translink headquarters.
The Real Estate Investment Network recently named New Westminster as one of the top 10 B.C. cities for investment, ranking it No.18 out of 19 for lowest-priced real estate in the Metro Vancouver region.
The average per suite value based on recent sales is estimated at $288,474 by the Goodman Report team at HQ Commercial – the lowest of any municipality north of the Fraser River.

5. East Vancouver

Rental vacancy rate: 0.3 per cent

Average one-bedroom rent: $1,460

Average price per door: $390,349

East Vancouver is Metro’s most in-demand rental market. Mount Pleasant’s burgeoning tech scene, new Emily Carr University of Art and Design campus and proximity to downtown Vancouver is continuing to drive demand at a pace that outpaces supply. The vacancy rate sits at 0.3 per cent, lowest in the Metro region.
Per-suite value for East Vancouver apartment buildings is $390,349, according to HQ Commercial, which noted that this is well below the City of Vancouver average of $556,413.

6. Burnaby

Rental vacancy rate: 0.6 per cent

Average one-bedroom rent: $1,380

Average price per door: $332,132

Burnaby’s multi-family market is booming, with major development projects centred on The Amazing Brentwood and Lougheed Town Centre SkyTrain stations. CMHC places the city’s rental vacancy rate at 0.6 per cent – less than that of Vancouver’s. A breakneck development pace in the Metrotown area has driven up per-suite values 66 per cent from $332,132 in 2016 to $551,227 in 2018. The steep price of entering the Burnaby market is partially offset by high returns, thanks to Burnaby having the third-highest rent in Canada, according to PadMapper. Total dollar volume from Burnaby apartment sales in 2017 exceeded $260 million, more than any other Lower Mainland municipality, according to HQ Commercial.

 

Article by Tanya Commisso for Western Investor.