The Greater Victoria real estate market this summer is showing major sales increases over last year, especially in the area of single family homes. But inventory remains low, says the president of the Victoria Real Estate Board. (File photo)

Greater Victoria real estate sales numbers tell two stories for July

Real estate board president Sandi-Jo Ayers talks about pent-up spring demand, low inventory

Despite fewer listings than the same time last year, and with agents working within the challenges of COVID-19, property sales in Greater Victoria for July showed a significant increase on two fronts.

The Victoria Real Estate Board reported sales of 979 properties, which amounts to a 38 per cent jump from July of 2019, and a 21.2 per cent increase over sales in June of this year.

Board president and local agent Sandi-Jo Ayers provided an explanation for the 2020 comparison, if not the year-over-year numbers.

“If we look at the numbers alone, June and July were unseasonably busy months and the number of sales this month are on the higher end of our market for a typical July,” she said in a release.

“But we are not in a typical season. We cannot derive an ongoing trend nor forecast by looking at [July] activity, because we know the market is subjected to unusual factors amidst a health crisis. Our spring market was delayed because of the pandemic. It is likely that our spring demand moved into summer, now that folks are moving around our community more freely. Time will tell if these factors are resulting in a very compressed cycle of activity or if this trend will persist in the fall.”

RELATED STORY: Real estate sales in Greater Victoria drop almost 60 per cent in April

The sales of single family homes in the region last month drove the major increase over last year, with 559 sales – a major 61 per cent climb over July 2019. Condo sales showed a modest 11 per cent increase over last year, with 239 units sold.

The number of active listings at the end of July was 2,653, 10 per cent fewer than at the same point last summer and a shade under the 2,698 listings that were active as of June 30 this year.

Ayers said the market is continuing to produce a long-term, low supply of inventory, “which puts pressure on our market and prices.”

“Though we had a good number of new listings come to market this month, many of those listings were snapped up by buyers,” she says. “Our average active listings for July over the past 10 years is 3,767 but our current local inventory is more than a thousand properties less than that. We have a lot of demand for single family homes – without the numbers to meet that demand.”

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The MLS Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria core also continues to go up. In July that number reached $910,400, up nearly $50,000 from last year and roughly $14,000 from June 2020. The Victoria core benchmark value for condos was $529,900 in July – $9,000 higher than last July.

For more information on market trends, visit vreb.org.


 

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