The Victoria Real Estate Board hopes more inventory will come on the market in the spring. Victoria News file photo

The Victoria Real Estate Board hopes more inventory will come on the market in the spring. Victoria News file photo

Victoria housing market could heat up in spring, experts say

The Victoria Real Estate Board believes more inventory will come on the market in spring

If you’ve been on the hunt for a new home in the Capital Regional District in the past few months, you may have noticed it’s slim pickins out there.

But that could potentially change with the arrival of spring recently. The Victoria Real Estate Board believes more listings could come onto the market as warmer weather starts to arrive.

“We do think we will see a more balanced market in the future as more inventory becomes available. Traditionally, people prefer to list their home when gardens and outdoor areas can be shown to their best advantage,” said real estate board president Ara Balabanian in a release.

“Hopefully, as our warmer weather arrives we will see more listings added into the market to offer more choice for buyers.”

In March, the real estate board continued to see a high demand for housing, but a low inventory of homes. Last month, 929 properties were sold in the region, 17 per cent less homes than the 1,121 properties sold in March of last year.

There were also 1,556 active listings for sale at the end of last month, roughly 40 per cent less than the 2,618 active listings for sale at the end of March 2016.

Victoria’s housing market is cooling off after a record-breaking year in 2016 for the number of properties sold in the region. Last year, there were 10,622 properties sold, which exceeded the previous high of 9,241 sales in 1991.

While this year’s sales haven’t kept pace with last year’s unusually high numbers, Balabanian said Victoria’s housing market is still going strong.

“We are still in a very active market … We saw nearly 200 more transactions sold last month than March 2016, when 734 properties were sold,” he said, adding those buyers and sellers should enlist the help of realtors if they haven’t already.

“With the ongoing historically low inventory levels and high consumer demand — both parties need to be tenacious and have quick reflexes. Sellers need to ensure they have assistance from an experienced local realtor to help understand current demand and pricing. Even in this market, properties can sit unsold for months without selling because of an inappropriate price.”

The Multiple Listing Service Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria core in March 2016 was $663,300. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2017 has increased by 19.1 per cent to $790,100.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com