House prices will keep increasing, predicts Victoria Real Estate Board president

Despite economic downturn, Greater Victoria property values hold steady

A shaky global economy hasn’t rattled the local real estate board president’s confidence in Greater Victoria’s property market.

“It’s hard to look (ahead) over a couple of years, especially with the instability in the world economy right now,” said Dennis Fimrite, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board and a realtor with Firm Management Corp., when asked about the future of real estate in the region.

“People in Victoria realize real estate is a safe place to put their money still. I think we’ll see prices steadily rise for the next few years.”

Fimrite said historically, prices can spike dramatically in the region, then tend to flatten out for the following three to four years.

Asked whether he thought real estate prices might ever drop significantly, Fimrite said, “Not really, no.”

Good employment opportunities, a diversified economy and beautiful surroundings will hold the market steady, he said.

According to the Multiple Listing Service, sales slowed once again after a modest revival in August. In September, 458 properties moved, compared to 542 the month before. September 2010 was a particularly slow month, with 395 property sales.

Month over month, the average price of properties declined slightly in Greater Victoria. The average price of a single-family house was $622,393 – about $30,000 less than in August.

The average price for condos slipped slightly, by about $6,500 to $332,490 in September. The average for townhouses showed virtually no change.

In September, 17 properties sold for more than $1 million, including a Saanich East house that went for more than $6 million.

The average price for a detached house in Greater Vancouver was $888,243 in August 2011, or $407,457 for a condo.

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