The spring market gains momentum as sales in Victoria increased 20% in March over last year, but sales were still slightly lower than our long term average. The article below is from the Greater Victoria Real Estate Board with a market update:
March 2014 Real Estate Activity in Victoria
April 1, 2014
VICTORIA BC - The Victoria Real Estate Board today released its monthly report on real estate activity in the Victoria area for March 2014.
575 properties sold in the month of March 2014, compared to 483 in March 2013 - an increase of nearly 20% year over year. However, the average sales for the month of March over the past five years is 607 properties per month, so though 2014 is stronger than the year previous, sales have not yet returned to the longer term average.
Victoria Real Estate Board President Tim Ayres says, "This time last year sales weren't outstanding - the market was sluggish. Tightened mortgage amortization rules resulted in slower sales as buyers adjusted to the new requirements. Property values were stable, but inventory didn't move quickly. This year we see more sales than last March."
The Victoria Real Estate Board uses the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) to report on property values. The MLS® HPI uses the concept of a benchmark home, a notional home with common attributes of typical homes in a defined area. Through the analysis of ten years of Victoria Real Estate Board MLS® sales data, the MLS® HPI defined benchmark homes for Victoria in each category (single family homes, townhouses, condos) and for each neighbourhood. The benchmark starting point was 2005, where each type of property and neighbourhood was assigned an index value of 100.
Current MLS® HPI composite (inclusive of all single family homes, condos and townhomes sales) for the Victoria Real Estate Board area is 139.3 - compared to 139.1 this time last year. While these overall numbers indicate little change in the last 12 months, some areas have changed more than others. Local REALTORS® can interpret what this means to specific neighbourhoods in the region.
President Tim Ayres explains what this means to the local market, "The stable property values year over year, along with the strong inventory of properties we see for sale shows that we have returned to balanced market conditions. There is no extreme upward or downward pressure on housing prices right now. This stability in value combined with the new lower interest rates we see from some lenders may move a lot more buyers into the Victoria and area housing market."