A total of 598 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, 9.9% fewer than the 664 properties sold in October of last year, but a 12.2% increase from September 2018. Sales of condominiums were down 15.5% from last year in October with 180 units sold, but up 20.8% when compared to September 2018. Sales of single family homes were down 14.7% from 2017 with 289 sold this October, 1.4% more than the previous month.
"We continue to see the housing market shift into a more balanced state, though the trajectory is not smooth," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "This month had slower sales compared to last year and a slightly lower level of inventory coming into the market, but it also had an increase in sales from last month, which may surprise some people. The moderating changes over last year have been punctuated with some competition and price pressure on lower and mid-priced homes while the upper end of the market has softened slightly... Thirty per cent fewer homes this year were listed for sale at $750,000 or less than in the year previous, which means there is still pressure on lower priced homes in the Core and other popular areas... Right now pricing is key across all segments as we transition to a more balanced market."
"The market is definitely reacting to the changes in mortgage lending requirements," adds President Kerr. "Lending was made tougher to dampen the market and these measures have certainly had an impact on purchasing power. The threat of the looming Speculation and Vacancy tax has also cooled development in our area, which is unfortunate because the only way to create affordable homes in our area is to build them. We hope that moving forward the municipal, provincial and federal governments will work collaboratively to enable more supply at all levels of housing by funding public / private partnerships to support the increase of home stock in our area. We hope that aside from taxation and mortgage rules, governments will work together to ensure a future supply in our area to stabilize prices in the long term."
There were a total of 2,510 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2018, an increase of 31.8% compared to October 2017 but 5.1% fewer than the month previous.
The Provincial Government announced new tax legislation in the BC Budget for 2018. The annual speculation tax in the Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Kelowna and West Kelowna regions will be levied against foreign and domestic owners, the tax rate will be 0.5% of the home's value in 2018 and increase in 2019 at a rate dependent on whether you are a domestic or foreign owner. There are some exemptions for principal residences and qualifying long term rental properties, along with many exemptions that have been announced both this Fall and in the Spring. If you own a second property within the regions affected by the Speculation Tax you can find more information from the Government of British Columbia at this link: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/speculation-and-vacancy-tax. The information provided by the Government is still subject to the approval of the Legislature and the passing of a House Amendment.