Summer 2017 – Victoria Real Estate Update
The smoke has finally cleared from the air in Greater Victoria, but the fires throughout BC are still burning. Let’s hope some rain comes soon. This summer has been extremely dry as Victoria was on the verge of breaking a 53 day record of no rain set in 1986, but some rain finally came late Saturday evening. It looks like the record was a tie, but this is not really the record that we want to be broken, as the fires throughout the province need some rain and more accommodating weather to help keep them under control.
The real estate numbers have been decent so far this summer, but are below the sales records that were broken in 2016. This year has seen a continued low level of inventory of properties for sale combined with still record high prices. However, with a lower number of monthly sales, the average time to sell a home has increased slightly, which means sellers need to be priced right to attract attention from buyers.
The remainder of this year will be an interesting one to watch as far as average prices, sales and listing inventory goes. New construction is up which will increase inventory. Interest rates appear to be on the rise. If the number of listings increases this fall, and the number of sales continues at a lower level than 2016, then the prices could very well start to move in a downward direction. Also, the government policies of taxing properties, taxing foreign buyers, and increasing interest rates all have a slowing effect on the market. Vancouver sales numbers are down, and Toronto has seen a spike in listings and a significant drop in sales this summer due to the implementation of the foreign buyer’s tax among other government measures to slow the real estate market. Prices have also dropped in these two markets.
No one can predict exactly where the market will go, but based on previous market cycles, the Greater Victoria area should remain busy for the next few years. Victoria remains a sought after destination for buyers across the country and around the world, so even if the market slows across the country, our market is usually not hit as hard as other cities. Locally, the key factors to watch for are the Mortgage rates and the policies of the new NDP Government in BC. Also, there have been policies put into play in China to try and slow down the exit of funds from that country, which has resulted in a slow down of global foreign buyers from China to other parts of the world. If this trend continues, then Vancouver could see a further slow down, which usually results in fewer buyers coming to Victoria from the Greater Vancouver region. This will probably lead to a more balanced market over the next few years, which might mean the end of the record high prices for this market cycle. If we see a rise in listing inventory this fall, then the result might be a softening of prices. Time will tell.
In the meantime, wear lots of sunscreen, and enjoy the remaining 6 weeks of summer, and let’s hope we get some much needed rainfall to put out all of those fires burning around the Province.
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!