Greater Victoria Holiday Market Update
“We certainly anticipated a difference this year in terms of sales for November compared to last year,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. “This time last year, the government announced plans to change mortgage lending qualification rules and our market saw a rush of activity as buyers tried to beat that new lending criteria which was rolled out January first. Our ten-year average of units sold for the month of November is 515, which is likely a better comparison than to the unusual market conditions we saw last year.” “Inventory continues to be low compared to historic averages,” adds President Kerr. “The ten-year average for active inventory in November is 3,204, so although it has improved compared to last year, we are still low on choice for buyers. At the same time, waning demand has meant that there is less urgency in our market right now, which can benefit buyers and sellers. The market tends to naturally slow down in the winter, so I’d expect we will have a more balanced market heading into the new year.”
The annual speculation tax announced by the Provincial Government earlier this year comes into effect in the new year, and the tax rate will be 0.5% of the home's value in 2018 and increase for 2019 at a rate dependent on whether you are a domestic or foreign owner. If you own a second property within the regions affected by the Speculation Tax (Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Kelowna and West Kelowna) you should speak with your tax accountant or a lawyer to find out how you will be affected. There is also 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. There are some exemptions for principal residences and qualifying long term rental properties, along with many exemptions that have been announced throughout the year.