Victoria Snowy Winter 2017
2017 is already into it’s second month and who would have thought that Victoria would have received a severe snowfall in early February? The real estate market is always temporarily frozen when Victoria gets a snow fall, but things should be back to normal in the next day or so, as the snow is melting fast, and the forecast is for warmer weather finally. The sales numbers have been slightly lower this year compared to 2016, but the overall real estate market is on course to have another big year. Hope you are having a great start to 2017!
The Victoria real estate market was so busy in 2016 that there were record high sales numbers, record high average prices, and as a result, we are now left with a record low number of homes for sale in the region. There were just over 1400 listings of all kinds of properties for sale at the beginning of the year, down from about 2400 the previous year. This comes at a time when the market cycle for real estate is on an upward trend. Based on previous historic models over the last 50 years, where the real estate cycles usually average about 7 years up, and 7 years down, we are statistically only at about year 2 or a 7 year run up. Currently, interest rates are still low and immigration from around the world, the US, and migration within provinces is still strong. The unemployment rate in Victoria is among the lowest in Canada. The tech industry is booming and tourism in the region is creating a hotel shortage. At this time, there appears to be no major economic factor that would negatively change our market in the short term other than the effect of not having enough homes to sell, which so far has resulted in fewer sales to date over 2016.
A couple of things to watch for in 2017 will be the possibility of the BC Government expanding the controversial 15% foreign buyer tax to other parts of the province, namely Victoria. Also, the fee premiums for Mortgages that are insured by CMHC will be increasing in March of 2017. At this time, the 15% foreign tax is only in the Greater Vancouver area. However, some of the elected officials at the City of Victoria appear to want this tax expanded to the Greater Victoria region, so we will see where this plays out as the year progresses. The speculation is that the tax may not effect Victoria’s market that much, as foreign buyers account for under 10% of buyers in the Greater Victoria market, as of the statistics for 2016. The increase in CMHC fees will affect a small segment of the first time buyer market, as the higher fees will most likely result in a lower house price qualifying limit for some buyers. Currently, rates are still at historic lows, but the global trend appears to be one of increasing rates, as long term bond yields are currently rising, which usually results in higher long term mortgage rates. In the meantime, forecasts for the remainder of 2017 are predicting that interest rates will remain low in Canada. This will bode well for buyers. Overall, the outlook appears to be positive.
All the best to you and your families in 2017!
Here are a few links to various real estate sources that may be of interest to you:
1. Up-to-date real estate information on my Facebook page: VictoriaBCProperties
2. Latest Website Newsletter: Newsletter
3. Latest historical statistics from the Victoria Real Estate Board: VREBStatistics
4. Search for Victoria Properties at my website: www.DaleSheppard.com
All the best to you and your family, and have a great 2017!