VICTORIA, BC - A total of 1,286 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, an increase of 53 per cent compared to the 840 properties sold in the same month last year.
Inventory levels remain lower than the previous year, with 2,594 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April, 34 per cent fewer than the 3,945 active listings at the end of April 2015.
"We continue to see extraordinary interest in the Victoria and area housing market. Likely this is because the trends we reviewed last month continue -- low mortgage rates, higher employment numbers, diversity of properties for sale and of course the growing international awareness that Victoria is an amazing place to live," notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. "The vast majority of Victoria buyers are from within the local Victoria marketplace. Last year 70.5 per cent of buyers were from Victoria, and this year in the first quarter we see 72.5 per cent of buyers from the area. We've also tracked a slight increase in Lower Mainland buyers. Reports from the first quarter of 2016 show that 8.2 per cent of buyers are from the Lower Mainland, and last year we counted 7.4 per cent. It's also noteworthy that we've seen a decrease in buyers from Alberta (last year we saw 5.7 per cent, this quarter we saw 3.9 per cent), a small increase in buyers from the US (from 0.8 per cent to 1 per cent) and an increase in buyers from Asia (from 0.7 per cent to 0.8 per cent this quarter)."
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April, 2015 was $581,700. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2016 has increased by 17.7 per cent to $684,900.
"If you are shopping for a home right now, there is a good chance that if you're looking in a higher demand area (Victoria core, Saanich, Oak Bay) you may find yourself in a multiple offer situation when you go to purchase. This is because there are more buyers than homes for sale and so the market is more competitive than we've seen in years past," adds Nugent. "As a consumer it may pay to get creative, consider types of property and locations you may have not originally identified. For example, condos and townhomes may be a great alternative for first time buyers. Some locations in the Victoria area are under slightly less pricing pressure, for example properties in the West Shore or Esquimalt area are close to amenities, share the same amazing weather as other nearby neighbourhoods. Working with a REALTOR® to create a purchase strategy will put you ahead of the game, and ensure you end up with the right property for you."