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Greater Victoria home market slowdown means calmer buying and selling scenarios

Victoria Real Estate Board figures show significant jump in condo prices in a year
While the benchmark value for condos in the Greater Victoria core fell sightly from June to July, the West Shore saw a slight gain. However, condo values across the region have jumped significantly in value from a year ago. (Black Press Media file photo)

A shift in the market could mean more time for potential buyers and sellers.

July saw 510 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) region. That’s almost 40 per cent fewer than the 835 properties that changed hands in July 2021 and a decrease of almost 17 per cent from June’s sales figure.

Year over year, condo sales were down almost 40 per cent to 172, while sales of single-family homes dropped more than 35 per cent to 254.

“We’d previously indicated a shift in the local housing market,” VREB president Karen Dinnie-Smyth said in a statement. “This continued (to) be the case in July as sales dipped, and we saw fewer listings come to the market, with more of the existing inventory remaining for sale. This slowdown means a calmer and more friendly environment with time for decision-making, which benefits sellers and buyers and will be a relief to many.”

There were 2,162 active listings at the end of July, up five per cent from June and more than 70 per cent higher than the 1,270 properties for sale at the end of July 2021.

“As a result of the higher interest rates and inflation occurring right now, we see fluctuations in price and availability,” Dinnie-Smyth added. “Values will rise and fall over time, and historically local real estate values slowly increase over time … The government’s recent focus has been on demand-side mechanisms and other market modifiers, such as a mandatory three-day cooling off period to start in 2023. A better long-term approach to housing affordability for our future is to address housing supply constraints, which will be central to the next round of upward pressure on home prices.”

The benchmark value for a typical single-family home in the Victoria core was $1,433,800 in July, down from $1.46 million in June, but up from the $1.2-million value seen in July 2021.

The benchmark for a condo in the core was $639,600, down from $643,100 in June but up significantly from last July’s mark of $502,600.

On the Peninsula, the benchmark for a single-family home was $1,332,600 in July, down slightly from $1.34 million in June but up from $1.12 million in July 2021. The benchmark for condos saw a drop to $649,800, down from $658,100 in June but up from $576,200 in July 2021.

On the West Shore, the single-family home benchmark has not moved much in a year. It was $1,136,400 in July, down slightly from $1.14 million in June, but up from $1.12 in July 2021. The benchmark for condos paints a different picture, with the July value of $555,200 up a nudge from $545,900 in June, but markedly higher than last July’s value of $453,600.

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