250.888.7049 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Blog

January 2018 Victoria BC Real Estate Market Conditions

Victoria Real Estate market begins the new year with low inventory and high demand

-

A total of 431 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 9.8 per cent fewer than the 478 properties sold in January last year. The sales of condominiums were down 30.6 per cent from last year in January - with 118 sold. Single family homes were 4 per cent down from the previous year, with 215 selling in the first month of 2018.

"We expected January to be a bit slower after the increase in activity we saw in November and December, which was likely due in part to buyers entering the market early to avoid the new mortgage stress test," says 2018 Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "We have yet to see the full effect of the stress test, as many people attained a 90 -120 day pre-approval before the test became required January 1. We won't know how much that stress test will affect the spring market until we see the numbers, and spring is also the time when sales traditionally pick up."

There were a total of 1,491 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2018, an increase of 7.7 per cent compared to the month of December and 1.6 per cent fewer than the 1,516 active listings for sale at the end of January 2017.

"2017 concluded with very constrained inventory levels, which hit record lows early in January. The lack of inventory in our market is maintaining pressure on pricing, especially as high demand continues in many areas of Victoria," adds President Kerr. "We can also see the effects of headwinds influencing our market in 2018, including attempts to curb demand at all levels of government. The mortgage stress test is the latest to be introduced, and we may learn of further measures later this month when the provincial budget is released. We hope the government takes a balanced approach to our housing market in their budget and offsets any further demand-side measures with initiatives aimed at addressing the ongoing supply shortages for both home buyers and renters. We also encourage our local governments to take some time to assess the effects of demand-side measures like the mortgage stress test and recent interest rate hikes before introducing further restraints on our market."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January 2017 was $761,100. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2018 increased by 9.3 per cent to $831,900, slightly higher than December's value of $823,800. HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria area in January 2017 was $375,300. The benchmark value for the same condo in January 2018 increased by 20.1 per cent to $450,600, which is slightly higher than December's value of $445,000.

GUEST BLOG: What's the Deal with Property Assessments?

This week's blog post courtesy of Paul Macara, licensed broker with The Mortgage Group in Victoria - macaramortgages.com


By now, you’ve probably received your 2018 property assessment in the mail. And, like most of your neighbours, you’ve likely seen an increase in your assessed value when compared to last year.

Property assessments are double-edged. On one hand, an increase in value is thought to speak to the actual value of your property, while on the other hand, an increased assessment might mean higher taxation.

But is this true?

Does a property assessment reflect your property’s true value AND will an increase in assessed value increase your property taxes?

Below are common answers to frequent questions about property assessments.

How are Property Assessments Conducted?

When conducting an assessment, BC Assessment considers properties in similar areas comparing recent sales prices between properties sharing similar characteristics. For example, an article in the Globe and Mail outlines determining the value of a 5,000 square foot home in Surrey, situated on a 10,000 square foot lot. To make a determination of value, BC Assessment would review sales prices for homes of a similar size and on similar sized lots. In addition, they would consider properties of a similar age, style, and location.

To help make determinations of value, BC Assessment takes advantage of additional tools, including:

  • The review of building plans and permits
  • Street front photography
  • 3-D modeling of condominiums
  • Satellite imagery

While reviewing properties from their exteriors is simple enough, more challenging is assessing the state of a property’s interior. To help gauge certain property interiors, BC Assessment may send a letter to the homeowner(s) of properties with significant exterior renovations, as these often signal interior renovations too. The letter acts as a formal inquiry into the state of interior renovations.

Are Property Assessments a Reflection of Real Value?

Not necessarily, no. Many buyers and sellers like to defer to the assessed value of properties when it comes to negotiating a better price (as a buyer) or defending a higher value (as a seller), but truthfully, the assessed value shouldn’t be mistaken for the current real estate value.

A comparative market analysis conducted by a Realtor will use very recent data, while property assessment data is often stale (a few months old) by the time assessment notices are received. The best determination of value is by reviewing recent sales of similar properties at the time you want to evaluate data. As you can imagine, in fast-paced markets, the value of homes can shift (up or down) in only a matter of weeks.

If my Assessment Increased, Will This Signal an Increase in my Property Taxes?

Interestingly enough, no. Again, upon reading the Globe and Mail article, it turns out that an increase in one’s own property assessment won’t signal an increase in taxation only when that assessment has increased higher than the average change for that property class in a given municipality.

Curious about your Neighbors?

If you’re curious to see how your property value stacks up to that of your neighbours, it’s beneficial to make use of a tool through BC Assessment, called e-Value.

Click Here to give it a try.

In Compete Disagreement with your Property Assessment??

Those who feel their property assessment is inaccurate can appeal the assessment. Find additional details here.

Of course, appealing the assessment will require reliable statistics. In other words, you wouldn’t be able to verbalize why you think your home should be assessed higher or lower, you’d need to provide evidence (like recent sale data) in order to succeed with an appeal.

To make an appeal, a review must be requested through BC Assessment. Once the review has been reviewed a hearing date will be set. You will receive a 30-minute window to share your evidence-based information.

Looking for your Property’s Current Market Value?

If you’re interested in having a current market analysis of your home, please contact me and I’ll gladly provide you with the referral of a professional who can help.



Our thanks to Paul Macara! You can reach Paul with all your home financing questions at (250) 857-4741 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Top Victoria Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2018

Slower paced market, slower price rise

There’s been more than enough talk about the impending crash of Canadian real estate, but without some major outside economic shock, we aren’t expecting a catastrophic fall in 2018. What we will see is a reduction in volume to fewer than 100,000 unit sold province-wide, which will equate to a drop from 2017, but still above the ten-year average. Inventory constraints, higher mortgage qualifying requirements, rate volatility, and constrained economic growth are expected to drag prices lower nationally, but for Victoria we are still expecting modest single-digit price growth over the coming year.

Year of the Condo

Condo prices made huge gains in 2017. Because condos offer more accessible price points, and the appeal of a lower-maintenance lifestyle, we expect demand to remain high in 2018, with the resultant upward pressure on condo prices. Case in point: we had our last condo listing of 2017 under contract within a week, and it sold for over asking. Interested in capitalizing on the condo trend? Give us a call!

With a scarcity of developable land, and cranes dotting the downtown #YYJ skyline, it’s clear to see that developers are working to meet demand, and we are excited to see what some of the larger, master-planned communities such as Bayview and Dockside Green will have to offer residents as they continue to build out, reimagining the area west of the bridge with a new urban vibrancy.

Mortgage Rate Movement

With two rate hikes in 2017, the Bank of Canada finally began to shift away from the previous seven year cycle of historically low rates. This doesn’t necessarily mean that rates will make a straight shot up in the year ahead, as lenders typically cut their fixed rates to compete for business in the spring, and often push them up later in the year, closer to year-end. By and large, consumers should expect a little more rate volatility than has been the norm over the past few years.

Multi-family development taking centre stage

As alluded to above, the cost of financing and the cost of land are contributing to a reduction in the number of detached housing starts, as well, rising sale prices for attached homes and condo units have developers looking to multi-family property types to create new housing stock. With plenty of new townhouse and condo product coming up in Greater Victoria, watch for this trend to continue in 2018.

Return of the 30 year Mortgage

With the prospect of a one-two punch to consumers in the form of the higher stress test threshold and increasing rates, buyers will be seeking means to stay in the game. 30-year amortizations are still available to borrowers who have more than 20% down, and although the longer term incurs CMHC fees, it will likely be the difference in approval for many individuals, applying both to new mortgages and to those reaching the end of their terms and shopping for options at renewal.

Technology

Cutting-edge tech is nothing new in the real estate business, but as we here at YYJhome.ca position ourselves for this year and further into the future, we can see that the rise in mobility amongst our clientele - consumers’ need to have good information accessible anywhere as they navigate the property market - will dictate that we continue to provide faster, easier access to information on the go. Our interpretation, analysis, and contextualization of market data will be key to helping you maximize your opportunities. In addition, we anticipate leaning into our commitment to utilizing technology to showcase our property listings - particularly in the 3D virtual tour / VR space, a sector in the real estate industry we are expecting to see grow rapidly over the next decade.

2018 Victoria Real Estate Outlook

With the release of the last set of market stats from 2017, we’ve had a chance to look back at the highs and lows of the year that was for real estate in Victoria… The highs: the all-time record high average sale price of almost $860K (more than 14% over the previous year), and the lows: the record low level of listing inventory, with most months carrying a only around 1,500 listings (about 25% less than we were used to seeing a few years ago). It’s easy to see how these two conditions interact, with low inventory and continued demand for property driving up pricing.

Predictions for 2018

On a national scale, it is expected to be a year of moderating activity in the market. It will definitely be interesting to see how the new mortgage rules (which will have the effect of reducing the amount purchasers can qualify to borrow to buy a home), and gradually rising interest rates, will affect buyer mobility and therefore market activity. It is widely hoped that the changes, coupled with gradually rising interest rates, will help ease things somewhat, allowing a little more inventory to build up over the year ahead, and helping housing markets to return to a more balanced state.

In our local market I expect we will see somewhat of a continuation of the trends that have defined the market here for the past year - a market that is steady to hot, still favouring sellers, but the silver lining will be that persistent low inventory will be given a chance to build a bit with tightened borrowing regulations and rising interest rates, which will also give rise to gentler upward pressure on pricing resulting in more moderate price growth. I expect to see the overall volume of transactions down slightly from 2017.

Notwithstanding the major forces above which are expected to influence the market most strongly, buyers from the two largest and most expensive markets in Canada continue to show an interest in our city’s incomparable quality of life, (comparatively) affordable prices, and strong job market. Indeed, it is the influence of non-Victoria buyers that will be the unknown factor determining what the market will bear in terms of further price increases.

Stay tuned!


Dirk

December 2017 Victoria BC Real Estate Market Conditions

Victoria Real Estate Market Strong to the End of 2017

-

A total of 462 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 1.9 per cent fewer than the 471 properties sold in December last year.

A grand total of 8,944 properties sold over the course of 2017, 15.8 percent fewer than the record breaking 10,622 that sold in 2016. 2017 sales came in at 21.7 per cent over the ten year average of 7,349 properties sold.

"Early in 2017 we discussed how the Victoria area housing market would be different than the record breaking year we had in 2016 and that over the course of the year we'd probably see a gradual return to a more balanced market. We did see evidence of this change come early in the year, as multiple offers and rapid price increases leveled out," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. "However, the ongoing low inventory of properties for sale meant that buyers continued to experience competitive situations in high demand areas, and multiple offers were still a common occurrence as buyers negotiated in a tighter market. What we couldn't anticipate were outside factors such as changes to mortgage qualifying rules that may have pushed people into the market early. The pending mortgage stress test in particular is likely to have caused much of the increased activity we've seen in November and December."

There were 1,384 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2017, a decrease of 21.5 per cent compared to the month of November and 7.3 per cent fewer than the 1,493 active listings for sale at the end of December 2016. This is the lowest level of inventory for the area in the month of December since the statistic was tracked in 1996.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2016 was $753,900. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2017 has increased by 9.3 per cent to $823,800, and is slightly lower than November's value of $824,600.

"Overall, the low inventory and the continued interest in Victoria real estate meant that well-priced homes were quick to sell in 2017. Moving forward, we expect to see more inventory come into the market, which will continue to move us toward a more balanced state," adds President Balabanian. "We also expect housing prices to remain stable, without the increases we tracked in 2016, and anticipate steady slow growth. In markets like these, it's important to enlist the services of a REALTOR® to help you navigate what may be your largest transaction ever."

November 2017 Victoria BC Real Estate Market Conditions

Victoria Real Estate Market Experiences a Burst of Activity

-

A total of 671 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this November, 12 per cent more than the 599 properties sold in November last year.

"We suggested last month that some buyers may accelerate their purchase timeline to buy a new home in anticipation of the mortgage stress test on uninsured buyers - those with a down payment of 20 per cent or more - that will come into effect on January 1," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. "Judging by the sales we saw in November and what I have heard from our REALTOR® members, some buyers have indeed accelerated their purchasing plans to avoid the stress test. This may change the numbers we see in the early months of 2018, as some buyers who had planned to buy next year have bought a bit earlier."

There were 1,764 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of November 2017, a decrease of 7.4 per cent compared to the month of October and 2.8 per cent fewer than the 1,815 active listings for sale at the end of November 2016.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in November 2016 was $748,500. The benchmark value for the same home in November 2017 has increased by 10.2 per cent to $824,600, which is slightly higher than October's value of $821,900.

"So was this November a record breaker?"asks President Balabanian. "While not a record, it is the highest November sales count we've tracked since 1996. It is also rare that we see November numbers beat October numbers. The fact that we've had an unusual month does not necessarily mean that this is the start of a new trend, it is however, a good example of how outside forces can impact a housing market. It's likely there will be more government-led change in the new year and we'll report on the effects of those changes on the market. Our hope is that the different levels of government coordinate their efforts to avoid a negative compounding effect on the market."

2017Q4 Housing Forecast Released from BCREA

The BC Real Estate Association Housing Forecast is out today. It mirrors what I've been predicting, which is the expectation that in response to low inventory, gradually rising interest rates, and a decrease in borrowing power from new OSFI regulations, market volume is slowing. The number of sales in BC is expected to be down just under 9% for 2017, and another 10% for 2018, which should mean a more balanced market to work in, and while we aren't expecting to see home prices go down overall, the rapid rise in prices that we've seen in the past few years is predicted to level off to low single-digit increases. If this all comes to pass, I think it's good news for consumers and Realtors, giving everyone a little room to breathe.

The full forecast is available here.

Any questions? Call or text any time 250.888.7049

October 2017 Victoria BC Real Estate Market Conditions

Victoria Real Estate Market Slowly Stabilizing after a Record Breaking 2016

-

A total of 664 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, 9.7 per cent fewer than the 735 properties sold in October last year.

"As expected, we saw fewer sales than this time last year," notes Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. "Looking at the longer term picture however, sales last month were 17.1 per cent above the ten year average of 567 properties for the month of October, so the market is still very active here in Victoria, and this is in spite of the ongoing low inventory levels."

There were 1,905 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2017, a decrease of 3.6 per cent compared to the month of September and 1.7 per cent fewer than the 1,938 active listings for sale at the end of October 2016.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in October 2016 was $752,000. The benchmark value for the same home in October 2017 has increased by 9.3 per cent to $821,900, but is lower than July's value of $834,200.

"The fact that we've seen such a controlled levelling off in the market directly following a year which felt so uncontrollable in terms of demand and pressure on prices illustrates the depth and stability of the Victoria market. An unstable market may have experienced a heavy correction or shift, whereas in our market sales are moderating at a reasonable rate." adds President Balabanian. "In the coming months we expect to see less inventory on the market, because the year end changes buyer and seller behaviours, their focus shifts to holidays and winter weather. One unknown influence that may play on the winter market is the upcoming mortgage stress test. Some buyers may move their purchasing timelines forward to make their home purchases before the stress test on uninsured buyers (those with a down payment of 20 per cent or more) becomes required January 1."

September 2017 Victoria BC Real Estate Market Conditions

Victoria Real Estate Market Changes Tempo for Autumn

-

A total of 640 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this September, 18.1 per cent fewer than the 781 properties sold in September last year.

"We can certainly feel the difference in the current market when we compare to last year's record breaking numbers. Last year the pace of the market was intense, there was a lot of pressure on pricing and demand," notes Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. "Now the tempo of the market is trending slowly - very slowly - towards more balanced conditions. Recently we've seen overall price increases level out, which can indicate slightly less demand, and inventory is building."

There were 1,976 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of September 2017, an increase of 3.1 per cent compared to the month of August and 4.1 per cent fewer than the 2,061 active listings for sale at the end of September 2016.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in September 2016 was $742,200. The benchmark value for the same home in September 2017 has increased by 10.9 per cent to $823,100.

"Simply because we've seen sales drop from last year is not dire or unexpected news for our local real estate market." adds President Balabanian. "The ten year average for sales in September is 573 properties and the month exceeded that average by more than ten per cent, which indicates we're still in an active market. And of course there are neighbourhoods that are still tracking up in terms of value from last year. It's for reasons like these that now more than ever it makes sense to seek the assistance of a local REALTOR® to sell or buy your home."

About YYJhome.ca

We're committed to combining knowledge, trust, and technology to build a relationship and deliver a top-rate experience, helping you meet your real estate goals and build the life you want, right here in paradise.

Keep in Touch

  info (@) yyjhome.ca
  +250.888.7049
  +250.385.3763
  1144 Fort St.


Get Map

Latest News

02
Feb2018

January 2018 Victoria BC Real...

Victoria Real Estate market begins the new year with low inventory and high demand - A total of 431...

19
Jan2018

GUEST BLOG: What's the Deal...

This week's blog post courtesy of Paul Macara, licensed broker with The Mortgage Group in Victoria -...

12
Jan2018

Top Victoria Real Estate Trends...

Slower paced market, slower price rise There’s been more than enough talk about the impending crash of Canadian...

03
Jan2018

2018 Victoria Real Estate Outlook

With the release of the last set of market stats from 2017, we’ve had a chance to...

03
Jan2018

December 2017 Victoria BC Real...

Victoria Real Estate Market Strong to the End of 2017 - A total of 462 properties sold in...

01
Dec2017

November 2017 Victoria BC Real...

Victoria Real Estate Market Experiences a Burst of Activity - A total of 671 properties sold in the...

26
Nov2017

2017Q4 Housing Forecast Released from...

The BC Real Estate Association Housing Forecast is out today. It mirrors what I've been predicting, which...

01
Nov2017

October 2017 Victoria BC Real...

Victoria Real Estate Market Slowly Stabilizing after a Record Breaking 2016 - A total of 664 properties sold...

02
Oct2017

September 2017 Victoria BC Real...

Victoria Real Estate Market Changes Tempo for Autumn - A total of 640 properties sold in the Victoria...

«
»


Newport Realty

Christie's International Real Estate

REALTOR® MLS®