Mikaila Rhodes Victoria Realtor®

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Spring is traditionally the busiest real estate season, but early on Victoria’s market sees a change

May 2, 2022  A total of 824 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 26.2 per cent fewer than the 1,116 properties sold in April 2021 and a 1.1 per cent decrease from March 2022. Sales of condominiums were down 20.8 per cent from April 2021 with 262 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 28.5 per cent from April 2021 with 403 sold.

"The past month concluded with notably lower sales when compared to April of last year," said 2022 Victoria Real Estate Board President Karen Dinnie-Smyth. "This tells an interesting story because activity traditionally peaks over the course of the spring, and this year we have seen a gradual softening of the market. As we have reported many times in the past years, the market hinges on supply and demand. Rising interest rates and inflationary pressures on top of higher prices throughout the region have combined to introduce new market dynamics because of waning demand that consumers and their REALTORS® are now navigating. Our inventory levels remain well below historic averages, so prices remain buoyant because the supply is still much lower than this recent decrease in demand."

There were 1,365 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2022, an increase of 28.4 per cent compared to the previous month of March but a 6.1 per cent decrease from the 1,454 active listings for sale at the end of April 2021.

"The market has made a pivot compared to the spring of 2021," adds President Dinnie-Smyth. "However, we continue to see competition for lower priced homes and multiple offers are still very much a reality in our market and likely will be for some time. We are currently experiencing a lessening of demand, but that does not mean we can lose sight of the fact that our housing market needs more supply. We must continue to encourage the government and stakeholders to focus on building more homes and not on creating new rules such as a cooling-off period that have nothing to do with getting more people into homes and risk upward pressure on pricing. The market will continue to have corrections, both up and down, and government interventions must target more new doors for the long-term health of our housing market."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2021 was $997,500. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2022 increased by 26.9 per cent to $1,266,200, up from March's value of $1,233,700. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in April 2021 was $513,100 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in April 2022 increased by 26.7 per cent to $650,200, up from the March value of $635,100.

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Victoria real estate market continues to experience low inventory and high demand

April 1, 2022  A total of 833 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, 29 per cent fewer than the 1,173 properties sold in March 2021 but a 16 per cent increase from February 2022. Sales of condominiums were down 26 per cent from March 2021 with 279 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 28.2 per cent from March 2021 with 412 sold.

"Once again, we have had a record breaker of a month," said 2022 Victoria Real Estate Board President Karen Dinnie-Smyth. "This March had the lowest number of active listings we have seen in a month of March - beating last year's record low. For context, in the past five years the average number of active listings at the end of March is 1,864 properties. This March had just over one thousand properties at month end. We did see more homes come to market this month compared to February - which is a positive sign - but our supply is still so constricted that multiple offers and competition continues, especially in the lower price ranges. We may see a lift in that pressure if more listings come to market over the spring, but since our inventory is so much lower than average, we have a long way to go to find balance."

There were 1,063 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March 2022, an increase of 25.2 per cent compared to the previous month of February but an 18.9 per cent decrease from the 1,310 active listings for sale at the end of March 2021.

"March generally kicks off the busy spring real estate season," adds President Dinnie-Smyth. "However, this month's sales and listings may have been partly depressed by reasons beyond the market. After two spring breaks of COVID restrictions, it's plausible that many prospective buyers and sellers put their plans on pause to travel. Looking forward, it is difficult to predict what this spring will look like as those buyers and sellers return to the market. Many factors - including rising interest rates, the government's promise to apply new barriers to sales such as cooling-off periods, inflationary pressures and record high house prices - continue to make this a challenging market. If you are considering a move, a sale or both, it's a good time to engage the assistance of a trusted local REALTOR® to help you navigate the complex landscape."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2021 was $968,500. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2022 increased by 27.4 per cent to $1,233,700, up from February's value of $1,196,300. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in March 2021 was $497,000 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in March 2022 increased by 27.8 per cent to $653,100, up from the February value of $603,600.

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Record low inventory prevents Victoria real estate market from cooling-off

March 1, 2022  A total of 718 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 16.8 per cent fewer than the 863 properties sold in February 2021 but a 51.5 per cent increase from January 2021. Sales of condominiums were down 7.9 per cent from February 2021 with 267 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 20.8 per cent from February 2021 with 309 sold.

"It was heartening this month to see some more listings come to market in February," said 2022 Victoria Real Estate Board President Karen Dinnie-Smyth. "However, inventory levels remain at record lows and without a strong government focus on increasing supply, buyers will continue to face escalating prices and difficult market conditions."

There were 849 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2022, an increase of 14.1 per cent compared to the previous month of January but a 35.6 per cent decrease from the 1,318 active listings for sale at the end of February 2021.

"We have asked the government for strong solutions to create supply to bring our market back into balance," adds President Dinnie-Smyth. "We need incentives for gentle densification and the removal of municipal barriers to development. What government has chosen to focus on instead is their announcement of a cooling-off period for residential sales this spring. They announced this measure with no industry consultation into how this may impact our housing market. The Victoria Real Estate Board and the British Columbia Real Estate Association have strongly recommended against a cooling-off period. Industry research shows that a cooling-off period will add volatility in both slow and pressurized market conditions. It provides no protection for home sellers and creates more risk and uncertainty for them when selling a home. Experienced and well-funded buyers will have an advantage over first-time buyers because a cooling-off period reduces negotiations to price alone. We have recommended alternative ideas for consumer protection - including the suggestion that a pre-sale offer period be introduced, which transcends market conditions and would better protect buyers and sellers while also mitigating the impact of pre-emptive offers. We hope our suggestions are taken seriously, they are a result of thorough research and consultation of hundreds of our local practitioners. Instead of discussing the British Columbia Real Estate Association's recommendations yesterday, Finance Minister Selina Robinson chose to inform the public that REALTORS® have a vested interest in home prices. For Minister Robinson to suggest that Realtors are keeping prices high is a convenient excuse and a weak attempt to divert attention away from the real issue - supply. Realtors would prefer a balanced market with reasonable prices and plenty of housing supply to meet demand. Our Realtors' only vested interest is in their clients and the more balanced our market is, the better we are able to serve the needs of buyers and sellers."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2021 was $948,500. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2022 increased by 26.1 per cent to $1,196,300, up from January's value of $1,161,500. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in February 2021 was $494,200, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in February 2022 increased by 22.1 per cent to $603,600, up from the January value of $587,300.

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Limited inventory continues to be key in Victoria real estate market

February 1, 2022  A total of 474 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 26.6 per cent fewer than the 646 properties sold in January 2021 but an 8.2 per cent increase from December 2021. Sales of condominiums were down 13 per cent from January 2021 with 188 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 39.7 per cent from January 2021 with 179 sold.

"A cursory glance at our sales numbers could lead to the quick conclusion that our market is slowing down," says 2022 Victoria Real Estate Board President Karen Dinnie-Smyth. "But what we must consider is not only the number of homes that have sold, but also the number of homes which were for available for sale within the month. To put our inventory into context, last year broke the record for lowest inventory for the month of January. This January broke that record nearly in half and that lack of supply in the market really impacts what our end sales numbers are. Had we seen more homes for sale, it's likely our result would have been many more sales."

There were 744 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2022, an increase of 14.1 per cent compared to the previous month of December and a 43.7 per cent decrease from the 1,321 active listings for sale at the end of January 2021.

"As it stands, our market will be slow to change until our inventory levels perk up," adds President Dinnie-Smyth. "This means we need to see supply added of all types of housing and we need to establish a sustainable source of supply into the upcoming years to meet growth. The reality of housing is that it takes years to add new numbers and until we are better able to meet demand, our market will be under pressure. With the constrained and fast paced market, it's an excellent time to use the services of an experienced REALTOR®, one who can help you identify a strategy and process for selling or buying - or selling and buying - a new home."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January 2021 was $932,200. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2022 increased by 24.6 per cent to $1,161,500, up from December's value of $1,144,900. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in January 2021 was $487,500, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in January 2022 increased by 20.5 per cent to $587,300, up from the December value of $570,600.

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The 2021 Victoria real estate market year in review

January 4, 2022  A total of 438 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 30.6 per cent fewer than the 631 properties sold in December 2020 and a 32.9 per cent decrease from November 2021. Sales of condominiums were down 22.1 per cent from December 2020 with 152 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 34.1 per cent from December 2020 with 207 sold.

A grand total of 10,052 properties sold over the course of 2021, 18.3 per cent more than the 8,497 that sold in 2020. 2021 sales came in close to 2016's record breaking sales year where 10,622 properties were sold.

"The theme of this year has been very consistent," says 2021 Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. "Each month a high demand for homes paired with record low inventory has put strong pressure on pricing and attainability and has made the local and global housing market a top news item and political talking point. We see stories from many countries highlighting the increasing desirability of home ownership in the wake of the pandemic. We leave this year with the lowest number of properties for sale that we have had on record - but with such strong demand that most transactions see multiple offers."

There were 652 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2021, a decrease of 26.5 per cent compared to the previous month of November and a 49 per cent decrease from the 1,279 active listings for sale at the end of December 2020. This represents the lowest inventory of active listings at month-end in at least the last 25 years.

"We have spoken throughout the year about the need for new housing supply at all levels to help moderate prices and improve attainability," adds President Langlois. "Some of our municipalities have begun to look at ways to make it easier for new homes to be brought to market and we applaud and encourage any movement in this area - it has been far too difficult and expensive to build homes in our region. The situation we are now in is because of the deficit of supply that has compounded over the past decades of hesitation around growth. However, governments at the federal and provincial level have instead chosen to focus elsewhere and invest their time re-inventing the process of how homes are sold in Canada by creating new rules which include the introduction of a 'cooling-off' period. These measures will do nothing to improve our market, nor will they increase consumer protection. The process of how a home is sold is not the issue - homes will sell for what consumers will pay for them - using any sales process. The issue is how homes are brought to the marketplace and our huge lack of supply. Governments should expend their resources to address supply issues that continue to drive up competition for homes and result in ever increasing prices."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2020 was $915,300. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2021 increased by 25.1 per cent to $1,144,900, up from November's value of $1,122,600. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in December 2020 was $487,100, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in December 2021 increased by 17.1 per cent to $570,600, up from the November value of $560,700.


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No change on the horizon for the Victoria real estate market

December 1, 2021  A total of 653 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this November, 17.9 per cent fewer than the 795 properties sold in November 2020 and 12.3 per cent fewer than the previous month of October. 236 condominiums sold, 5.2 per cent fewer than in the previous month of October. 276 single family homes sold, 18.6 per cent fewer than in the previous month of October.


"Strong demand for housing in our community continues to exceed the ultra-low number of listings of homes available for sale," said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. "This demand creates competition and pressure on pricing and we continue to see home values notch up. At this moment in time, there are fewer than 600 residential properties for sale in our market."


There were 887 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of November 2021, 51.1 per cent fewer properties than the 1,813 available at the end of November 2020 and 14.4 per cent fewer properties than the 1,036 active listings for sale at the end of October 2021.


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in November 2020 was $903,700. The benchmark value for the same home in November 2021 increased by 24.2 per cent to $1,122,600, a 1.7 per cent increase from the previous month of October. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in November 2020 was $485,100, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in November 2021 increased by 15.6 per cent to $560,700.


"Only with strong measures around supply will we see a lift in the pressures on our housing market," added President Langlois. "Governments continue to try to intervene by using demand side measures, such as the province announcing their plan to introduce a 'cooling off' period for resale homes. This concept was delivered without industry consultation or supporting data. Introducing measures that add uncertainty to the marketplace fails to address the issues of supply and attainability in our community - and threatens to make the supply situation worse. A cooling off period will not increase consumer protection - in fact many of the unintended consequences of such a policy could decrease protection for both buyers and sellers. The housing market is complex and policy must be evidence-based and designed for all types of markets – not to react to a moment in time. The government needs to sharpen their focus on the issue that has been documented for years – that a consistent delay in the delivery of homes to meet the needs of our growing population has created housing gridlock."

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Inventory pressures continue to constrain Victoria real estate market

November 1, 2021  A total of 745 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, 24.7 per cent fewer than the 990 properties sold in October 2020 and 2.1 per cent fewer than the previous month of September. Condominium sales were down 18.1 per cent from October 2020 with 249 units sold. 18.6 per cent fewer condominiums sold in October 2021 than in the previous month of September. Sales of single family homes were down 30.4 per cent from October 2020 with 339 sold. 2.4 per cent more single family homes sold in October 2021 than in the previous month of September.

"Once again – it's anyone's guess what our sales numbers would be like had we been in a market with a historically average number of homes for sale," said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. "Over the previous ten years, the average number of properties for sale in October was 3,210 - we are one third of that this year. We continue to see record breaking low levels of homes for sale and with continuing competition for homes, we see pricing pressure persist."

There were 1,036 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2021, 51.2 per cent fewer properties than the 2,122 available at the end of October 2020 and 7.8 per cent fewer properties than the 1,124 active listings for sale at the end of September 2021.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in October 2020 was $880,500. The benchmark value for the same home in October 2021 increased by 25.3 per cent to $1,103,600, a 0.3 per cent increase from the previous month of September. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in October 2020 was $482,200, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in October 2021 increased by 14.4 per cent to $551,800.

"The only solution to our current market is to create more supply," added President Langlois. "And creating supply isn't something that happens overnight, so we need to make a commitment to build in the coming years. That takes cooperation. It takes public acceptance of increased density in some areas, the ability for builders to staff and supply their developments and for investors to be able to make their plans a reality within a reasonable timeline and at a reasonable cost. We need to continue to focus on densification of our urban areas – the idea of encouraging duplexes and small plexes in neighbourhoods and building up in core areas. Thoughtful densification will allow us to protect our greenspace, leverage existing infrastructure and take advantage of existing amenities."

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A greater commitment to development required to balance local housing market

October 1, 2021  A total of 761 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this September, 23.1 per cent fewer than the 989 properties sold in September 2020 and 8.4 per cent fewer than the previous month of August. Condominium sales were up 9.3 per cent from September 2020 with 306 units sold. 11.3 per cent fewer condominiums sold in September 2021 than in the previous month of August. Sales of single family homes were down 38.6 per cent from September 2020 with 331 sold. 7.3 per cent fewer single family homes sold in September 2021 than in the previous month of August.

"We are in a situation this month that is very similar to last month," said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. "We have seen a lot of demand for homes of all types, but very little inventory come onto the market. And just like last month, it would be inaccurate to say that the market has slowed down and certainly an oversimplification to say the market is experiencing traditional seasonal slowing. What we are experiencing is a continued response to long-term low inventory levels."

There were 1,124 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of September 2021, 53 per cent fewer properties than the 2,389 available at the end of September 2020 but four properties more than the 1,120 active listings for sale at the end of August 2021.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in September 2020 was $879,700. The benchmark value for the same home in September 2021 increased by 25.1 per cent to $1,100,200, a 1 per cent increase from the previous month of August. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in September 2020 was $482,000, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in September 2021 increased by 13.3 per cent to $545,900.

"It’s a complex market and it has been for some time here in Greater Victoria," added President Langlois. "We have a lot of people who want to share in this wonderful community, but we do not have the homes to answer the demand at all points in the housing spectrum. Adding more inventory - be it rental or market housing - requires a commitment to building from our community members. If you support more homes, you need to vocally support projects coming through your local municipal council. Many amazing developments never happen or are buried in expense, which adds to the end cost, before they make it through years of permitting because of opposition at public reviews - often by a small but vocal minority. In order to stop our cycle of pressure on pricing due to limited supply, our community must choose to commit to new housing or commit to prices escalating further."

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Victoria housing market continues to adapt to long-term lack of supply

September 1, 2021 A total of 831 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this August, 15.1 per cent fewer than the 979 properties sold in August 2020 and 0.5 per cent fewer than the previous month of July. Condominium sales were up 31.7 per cent from August 2020 with 345 units sold. 21.5 per cent more condominiums sold in August 2021 than in the previous month of July. Sales of single family homes were down 29.9 per cent from August 2020 with 357 sold. 9.8 per cent fewer single family homes sold in August 2021 than in the previous month of July.

"Year over year numbers might indicate a slowing of our market, but there are two important factors to consider," said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. "The first is that our market is starved for inventory. It should come as no surprise that with half the available inventory of last August we sold fewer homes this August. Without the significant lack of inventory we're experiencing, sales would most certainly have been comparable to, if not greater than, last August. The second factor is that the previous ten-year running average for sales in the month of August is 675 properties, so with 831 properties changing hands this August, it is clear that our market remains very robust and that lack of supply is the biggest issue impacting attainability for our community.”

There were 1,120 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of August 2021, 56.7 per cent fewer properties than the 2,584 available at the end of August 2020 and 11.8 per cent fewer than the 1,270 active listings for sale at the end of July 2021.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in August 2020 was $889,800. The benchmark value for the same home in August 2021 increased by 22.4 per cent to $1,089,400, a 0.7 per cent increase from the previous month of July. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in August 2020 was $483,400, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in August 2021 was $540,600, an 11.8 per cent increase.

"The federal election will focus on each party's proposed policies and programs for housing," added Langlois. "The primary issue for housing attainability has been and remains one of supply. While increasing a consumer's ability to pay through tax free savings accounts, extended mortgage terms, or altering stress test provisions may assist some buyers to obtain housing, it will do nothing to slow the price appreciation that the systemic lack of housing supply continues to fuel. Specific commitments such as incentivising municipalities with infrastructure grants for density improvements, increasing on-campus housing, supporting co-op and leasehold developments and utilizing surplus federal lands to directly add to housing stock can all provide a path to more supply. Debates about bidding processes and foreign buyers do not offer material solutions to improve supply nor the attainability of housing. The municipal, provincial and federal governments' failure to support real growth and diversity in housing stocks has created the market conditions we find ourselves in today. Housing policy matters and we hope that all voters consider what each party proposes and the potential impact to our market."

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Victoria housing inventory continues to decline over summer months

August 3, 2021  A total of 835 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this July, 14.7 per cent fewer than the 979 properties sold in July 2020 and 11.4 per cent fewer than the previous month of June. Condominium sales were up 18.8 per cent from July 2020 with 284 units sold. 16 per cent fewer condominiums sold in July 2021 than in the previous month of June. Sales of single family homes were down 29.2 per cent from July 2020 with 396 sold. 10 per cent fewer single family homes sold in July 2021 than in the previous month of June.

"The real estate story right now continues to be inventory," said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. "The market is driven by inventory; and fewer home listings lead to fewer home sales. In that context, these numbers do not reflect a downturn in our market but reveal sales falling due to this continued trend of low inventory."

There were 1,270 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of July 2021, 52.1 per cent fewer properties than the 2,653 available at the end of July 2020 and 7.6 per cent fewer than the 1,375 active listings for sale at the end of June 2021.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in July 2020 was $909,900. The benchmark value for the same home in July 2021 increased by 18.9 per cent to $1,082,000, a 1.7 per cent increase from the previous month of June. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in July 2020 was $494,900, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in July 2021 was $535,100, an 8.1 per cent increase.

"As a sort of housing gridlock continues to develop, the pressure to create more of all different types of homes in our community of should not be lessened," added Langlois. "It is important for the long term health of our housing market that a strong focus continue on developing new homes to meet our growing demand. The current market is increasingly challenging for buyers and sellers. It's important to access the expertise and knowledge of your local REALTOR® to ensure your interests are protected."

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Low inventory and strong demand continue in Victoria real estate market

July 2, 2021  A total of 942 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this June, 16.6 per cent more than the 808 properties sold in June 2020, but 10.2 per cent fewer than the previous month of May. Condominium sales were up 61.7 per cent from June 2020 with 338 units sold. 4 per cent more condominiums sold in June 2021 than in the previous month of May. Sales of single family homes were down 4.3 per cent from June 2020 with 440 sold. 18.1 per cent fewer single family homes sold in June 2021 than in the previous month of May.

"We are at a point now where we can look at yearly comparisons with a new lens," said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. "In recent months we have been unable to glean anything by comparing year over year numbers because of the sudden and unexpected impact of the pandemic on the 2020 market. But June last year was when the market started its reacceleration. Buyers came back into the market in droves even though listings were restrained compared to long term averages."

There were 1,375 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of June 2021, 49 per cent fewer properties than the 2,698 available at the end of June 2020 and 5.2 per cent fewer than the 1,450 active listings for sale at the end of May 2021.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in June 2020 was $896,700. The benchmark value for the same home in June 2021 increased by 18.6 per cent to $1,063,500, a 2.6 per cent increase from the previous month of May. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in June 2020 was $490,400, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in June 2021 was $531,100, an 8.3 per cent increase.

"We see now even more sales activity than the return to the market we saw last year," added Langlois. "And our inventory is much more restricted, with more than thirteen hundred fewer listings for sale than the year previous. We can see the strong impact this shrinking supply has had on year over year prices. There are many factors we need to watch while this summer's market unfolds, including the change in borrowing rules that may impact first time buyers, declining levels of inventory and demand from outside of the province as tourism and travel reopens. Speak with your REALTOR® if you'd like fresh insight into our current market."

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Unwavering demand reinforces need to support supply of homes

June 1, 2021 The Victoria market continued to show its strength through the month of May, with a near record setting pace for sales and ongoing record low inventory levels. A total of 1,049 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this May, 129.5 per cent more than the 457 properties sold in May 2020, but 6 per cent fewer than the previous month of April. Sales of condominiums were up 200.9 per cent from May 2020 with 325 units sold. 1.8 per cent fewer condominiums sold in May 2021 than in the previous month of April. Sales of single family homes were up 111.4 per cent from May 2020 with 537 sold. 4.8 per cent fewer single family homes sold in May 2021 than in the previous month of April.

"Victoria is an amazing place to live and we will continue to see demand for property here," said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. "In the future we need to support the creation of a housing market that can respond to demand and population growth and evolve with community needs. Adding inventory to the Greater Victoria market should be the focus of every municipal council across the region."

There were 1,450 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of May 2021, 43 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of May 2020 and just 4 properties fewer than the 1,454 active listings for sale at the end of April 2021.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in May 2020 was $855,900. The benchmark value for the same home in May 2021 increased by 17 per cent to $1,036,100, a 3.9 per cent increase from the previous month of April. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in May 2020 was $500,000, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in May 2021 was $526,000, a 5.2 per cent increase.

"Recently the City of Victoria moved to fast-track non-profit developments, which is an exciting step in the right direction," added Langlois. "But continued attention needs to be paid on housing of all types. By supporting an increase in urban density, we can ensure attainable housing, address missing middle family housing, increase tax revenues for community amenities and protect green space by slowing sprawl. If you are concerned about attainable housing and the future of homes in Greater Victoria, consider supporting the next housing development proposal in your neighbourhood."

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Housing in Greater Victoria remains in high demand

May 3, 2021 "Comparing last year's April market to 2021 does not provide us any real insight into long term market trends," said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. "Instead of comparing to last year's numbers, we need to look at years before the pandemic to see how April 2021 compares to average. In the most recent five years pre-pandemic, the average number of sales in the month of April was 896. April 2016 holds the record for sales with 1,286 properties sold. The five-year average for active listings was 2,596, so we sit at more than one thousand homes fewer than a recent average level of inventory."

A total of 1,116 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 288.9 per cent more than the 287 properties sold in April 2020, but 4.9 per cent fewer than the previous month of March. Sales of condominiums were up 353.4 per cent from April 2020 with 331 units sold. 12.2 per cent fewer condominiums sold in April 2021 than in the previous month of March. Sales of single family homes were up 246 per cent from April 2020 with 564 sold. 1.7 per cent fewer single family homes sold in April 2021 than in the previous month of March.

There were 1,454 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2021, 36.9 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of April 2020 and 11 per cent more than the 1,310 active listings for sale at the end of March 2021.

"We've seen an imbalance in our market for a quite a few months," explained Langlois. "Our market is based on supply and demand and there is a disconnect right now with record low supply and high demand. Unfortunately, our housing supply is not as elastic as market demand is. Desire for homes in a certain market can erupt quickly, while building homes takes years. These realities make it hard to bring our market into balance. Efforts by government to dampen demand by making home ownership more expensive through taxes and borrowing limitations do not bring balance. Municipal governments adding costs and time delays to new developments do not bring balance. A commitment to developing our communities over the long term may."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2020 was $884,600. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2021 increased by 12.6 per cent to $996,500, a 2.9 per cent increase from the previous month of March. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in April 2020 was $533,600, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in April 2021 was $547,600, a 2.6 per cent increase.

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The fast pace of Victoria real estate market surges on

April 1, 2021  A total of 1,173 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, 92.9 per cent more than the 608 properties sold in March 2020 and 35.9 per cent more than the previous month of February. Sales of condominiums were up 111.8 per cent from March 2020 with 377 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 88.2 per cent from March 2020 with 574 sold.

"Limited supply with overwhelming demand has been the story for the first quarter of 2021," said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. "This time last year was the beginning of the pandemic and most everything was shut down – so we cannot compare year over year numbers – but if we look at longer term trends, the average number of sales from the month of March in the past ten years before 2020 was 715 properties. Numbers from last month are close to the market trends we saw in 2016, but with an even greater imbalance in inventory due to a surge in consumer demand for homes in the Victoria area."

There were 1,310 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March 2021, 41.8 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of March 2020 and 0.6 per cent properties fewer than the 1,318 active listings for sale at the end of February 2021.

"The underlying issue is a deficit in supply," explained Langlois. "Supply needs to be addressed by all levels of government and particularly by local governments which control land use policies and development processes. Equally important, governments need to ensure that measures they make to moderate the housing market do not exacerbate the problem by attempting to suppress demand by adding costs or qualification barriers. These sorts of measures raise the overall cost of housing and add even more challenges for first time buyers. We need to continue to push for both increased supply and sensible government policies around housing."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2020 was $879,600. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2021 increased by 10.1 per cent to $968,700 a 2.2 per cent increase from the previous month of February. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in March 2020 was $531,800, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in March 2021 remained close to last year's value at $529,100 a 0.5 per cent decrease.

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Victoria Real Estate Market demand surges against limited supply

March 1, 2021  A total of 863 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 53.3 per cent more than the 563 properties sold in February 2020 and 33.6 per cent more than the previous month of January. Sales of condominiums were up 65.7 per cent from February 2020 with 290 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 43.9 per cent from February 2020 with 390 sold.

"Our early spring market is in full swing carrying on from a fast start in January," said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois.  "Our market remains one with tightly constrained inventory and high demand. The good news is that we have seen some stabilization in listings and condo pricing between January and February, but we continue to see huge pressure on single family homes – new listings are snapped up as soon as they are listed. As a result, the pressure on single family homes continues to ramp up. There is significant competition for desirable homes – and in our marketplace most homes are desirable – and people competing for properties pushes prices up."

There were 1,318 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2021, 38 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of February 2020 and three properties fewer than the 1,321 active listings for sale at the end of January 2020.

"The theme for 2021 is going to be inventory - where does it come from and how much new supply can be approved - so that this situation does not persist," adds Langlois. "We've seen the government attempt to influence the housing market in hopes of dampening the demand for home ownership. The foreign buyer tax has changed nothing – our market continues to zoom forward with almost no foreign buyers. The government adjusted mortgage qualification rules, those are absorbed by the market and buyers adjust. Demand-suppression measures have not worked and their failure to moderate housing prices in our community has only exacerbated the pressure on the supply that was constrained ten years ago but is now at historically low levels. If you are concerned about housing prices and availability of housing in general in our community, please support development in your municipality. Be vocal with your local council or neighbourhood association – these stakeholders hold the power in these negotiations - and help to make space in your community. Gentle density and the building of new homes are the only pathway to moderate housing prices in our area."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2020 was $870,300. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2021 increased by 9 per cent to $948,200, a 1.7 per cent increase from the previous month of January. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in February 2020 was $525,600, while the benchmark for the same condominium in February 2021 remained close to last year's value at $525,400, a 0.38 per cent decrease.

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Victoria real estate market sees strong start to 2021

February 1, 2021  A total of 646 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 57.2 per cent more than the 411 properties sold in January 2020 and 2.4 per cent more than the previous month of December. Sales of condominiums were up 83.1 per cent from January 2020 with 216 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 48.5 per cent from January 2020 with 297 sold.

"Our bustling market continues to be fueled by strong consumer demand to own a home in Greater Victoria, driven in part by low interest rates and by the overall desirability of our larger community," said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. "This continuing demand, coupled with our record low inventory, has resulted in competition for desirable properties. The competition for sparse inventory has pushed both pricing and activity up and has created the very fast-paced market that we've been experiencing for the past several months."

There were 1,321 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2021, 32.5 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of January 2020 but a 3.3 per cent increase from the 1,279 active listings for sale at the end of December 2020.

"The luxury home market continues to significantly outpace previous years," adds Langlois. "For example, in January 2020, four homes over two million dollars sold. This January, twenty-five sold. We also see a continued strengthening in the condominium market across all price points. Right now, navigating both the buying and selling process is challenging. With many moving pieces and in such a fast-paced market it's important to leverage the experience and expertise of your trusted local REALTOR®."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January 2020 was $860,700. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2021 increased by 8.3 per cent to $932,000, a 1.8 per cent increase from the previous month of December. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in January 2020 was $523,400, while the benchmark for the same condominium in January 2021 remained close to last year's value at $518,800, a 0.9 per cent decrease.

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The 2020 Victoria real estate market year in review

January 4, 2021  A total of 631 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 57 per cent more than the 402 properties sold in December 2019 and a 20.6 per cent decrease from November 2020. Sales of condominiums were up 61.2 per cent from December 2019 with 195 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 58.6 per cent from December 2019 with 314 sold.

A grand total of 8,497 properties sold over the course of 2020, 17.1 percent more than the 7,255 that sold in 2019. 2020 sales came in close to one thousand sales over the ten-year average of 7,329 properties.

"This has been an unexpected year on many levels," says 2020 Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. "The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March and April quickly swept away any illusions that our normal seasonal market patterns would persist. Equally surprising was the resurgence of our market in early summer when restrictions lightened and pent-up demand began pushing sales beyond expectations. The combination of the ongoing pandemic, historically low interest rates and a shift in consumer priorities towards properties that cater to a more home-based work / life / retirement balance resulted in record setting sales for the last several months of 2020."

There were 1,279 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2020, a decrease of 29.5 per cent compared to the previous month of November and a 34.5 per cent decrease from the 1,952 active listings for sale at the end of December 2019. This represents the lowest inventory of active listings at month-end in at least the last 25 years.

"The other side of our local story was the inventory," adds Ayers. "We ended the year on a record low of properties available in Greater Victoria. This means that the huge demand we see for homes in our area is not being met by supply and prices are being pushed upwards as buyers vie for homes. Even historically lower-priced markets like the Highlands and the Westshore are seeing pressure as buyers adjust what suits their needs and focus on home ownership. What remains consistent is that in this complex market, your REALTOR® can help to navigate one of the biggest purchases most will make in their lifetime."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2019 was $857,200. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2020 increased by 6.8 per cent to $915,100, slightly more than November's value of $903,100. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in December 2019 was $520,100, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in December 2020 decreased by 0.9 per cent to $515,600, slightly less than the November value of $516,600.

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Victoria real estate market continues to experience strong demand, low supply

December 1, 2020  A total of 795 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this November, 37.8 per cent more than the 577 properties sold in November 2019 but 19.7 per cent fewer than the previous month of October 2020. Sales of condominiums were up 62.7 per cent from November 2019 with 262 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 21.8 per cent from November 2019 with 375 sold.

"Once again, we've tracked an unexpectedly busy month for the Victoria area real estate market," said Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. "With near 800 total sales last month, we came close to the record for sales in a November - which was 892 sales in 1989."

There were 1,813 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of November 2020, 24.4 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of November 2019 and a 14.6 per cent decrease from the 2,122 active listings for sale at the end of October 2020.

"I expect the question on most people's minds is - how long does this last, and is this sustainable," adds Ayers. "The fact is, the market has out performed anyone's expectations in the midst of this pandemic. There is a chance we will see a slow leveling of activity over the winter - which is what we would expect seasonally. However, because of our consistently low inventory, pressure on pricing and multiple offer situations will likely continue as we remain in a demand-heavy environment."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in November 2019 was $857,600. The benchmark value for the same home in November 2020 increased by 5.3 per cent to $903,100, a 2.7 per cent increase from the previous month of October. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in November 2019 was $517,400, while the benchmark for the same condominium in November 2020 remained close to last year's value at $516,600, a 0.2 per cent fluctuation.

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Victoria Real Estate Market continues to outperform in unpredictable times

November 2, 2020 A total of 990 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, 59.9 per cent more than the 619 properties sold in October 2019 and 0.1 per cent more than the previous month of September 2020. Sales of condominiums were up 70.8 per cent from October 2019 with 304 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 53.1 per cent from October 2019 with 487 sold.

"Once again, another month concluded with numbers that surprised many of us," said Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. "Sales for October broke the record for the month and inventory continues to be snapped up quickly. Due to this high demand, low supply environment, we are seeing many multiple offer situations. Condos and single family homes both continue to be popular choices for buyers."

There were 2,122 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2020, 19.7 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of October 2019 and an 11.2 per cent decrease from the 2,389 active listings for sale at the end of September 2020.

"We have mentioned previously the pent-up demand - how sales that were depressed over the spring because of the pandemic occurred later during the summer. These delayed sales resulted in higher than average numbers for our summer and early fall market," adds Ayers. "We may also be seeing some brought-forward demand - where people are making their future moves now. In part this may be to take advantage of lower mortgage interest rates. It may also be because of our current public health situation. Some people may be anticipating a slow down in general activity over the winter months due to the course of the pandemic and so are accelerating their plans. This may mean continued heightened sales activity through the fall and early winter, which is contrary to our normal market trend. In a normal year, we would see a tapering off of activity leading to the winter season, but thus far we have seen sustained sales and demand through October. Check in with a local REALTOR® to ascertain the to-the-minute market environment if you are considering buying or selling a property."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in October 2019 was $859,900. The benchmark value for the same home in October 2020 increased by 2.3 per cent to $879,600, virtually the same value as listed in September. MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in October 2019 was $512,500, while the benchmark for the same condominium in October 2020 remained close to last year’s value at $512,300, 0.3 per cent more than the September value of $510,600.

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Consumer interest in homeownership in Victoria unwavering over course of pandemic

October 1, 2020  A total of 989 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this September, 60.6 per cent more than the 616 properties sold in September 2019 and 1 per cent more than the previous month of August 2020. Sales of condominiums were up 26.7 per cent from September 2019 with 280 units sold. Sales of single family homes were 91.9 per cent from September 2019 with 539 sold.

"Another month has passed where we have seen surprisingly high sales numbers - which included quite a few higher end properties," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. "I don't think that anyone who was trying to predict market outcomes in our area over the course of the pandemic expected that the pent up demand from dampened sales in April and May would result in this level of market activity. There's no doubt that buyers are extremely motivated and this increased demand, coupled with limited inventory, fueled the September market."

There were 2,389 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of September 2020, 15.4 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of September 2019 and a 7.5 per cent decrease from the 2,584 active listings for sale at the end of August 2020.

"We had some much-needed new inventory enter the market over the course of September," adds Ayers. "But the supply has not been sufficient to outstrip the heightened demand. We continue to see multiple offers and pressure on pricing across many neighbourhoods. Looking forward, it is impossible to determine what our fall market will look like, but if the past couple of months are an indication, we may see higher seasonal numbers than we would have expected in a more predictable year. That said, since our situation can change in a blink, we cannot look at the past months as the start of a trend, but instead as a moment in our market during an unpredictable time."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in September 2019 was $849,100. The benchmark value for the same home in September 2020 increased by 3.5 per cent to $879,200, 1.1 per cent less than August's value of $889,200. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in September 2019 was $512,500, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in September 2020 decreased by 0.4 per cent to $510,600, 0.6 per cent less than the August value of $513.900.

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