Victoria Realty Prices Continue to Rise Steadily

by McLean Real Estate Group on July 21, 2017

FOREIGN BUYERS IN 2017 – SOME CONTEXT

There has been a lot of media coverage on the impact of foreign buyers on the real estate market in Canada. Last summer the BC government implemented a 15% property transfer tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver. More recently, the Ontario government introduced a number of measures to cool the real estate market in the “Greater Golden Horseshoe” area. Included in the measures was a 15% non-resident speculation tax. Closer to home, Victoria City Council narrowly missed passing a resolution that would have called on the BC government to implement a foreign buyers tax of 15% in Victoria.

Amid concerns with escalating home prices in Metro Vancouver, the BC government began to gather data on the number of property transfers involving foreign buyers. It released the initial figures for the period Jun 10-29, 2016. In Metro Vancouver, the figure was 5.1%. The next set of figures released by the BC government included the period Jun 30 to Jul 14. The number of property transfers involving foreign nationals jumped to 14.9% in Metro Vancouver. These figures appear to have prompted the BC government to implement the 15% property transfer tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver effective Aug 2, 2016. Following the implementation of the foreign buyers tax, the percentage of foreign involvement fell dramatically to 1.3% for the period Aug 2 to Sep 30. However, it seems clear that many foreign buyers were able to move the completion date of their purchase from the Aug – Sep period to the Jun – Jul period.

Foreign buyers appear to have been involved in perhaps as much as 8% of the property transfers between Jun and Sep 2016 in Metro Vancouver. Between Oct 2016 and Feb 2017, foreign involvement has averaged 3.9%. While sales fell in Metro Vancouver after the implementation of the foreign buyers tax, many involved in the real estate market in Vancouver argue that sales were in fact slowing well before the government acted, largely because of a lack of supply. What seems clear is that the implementation of the foreign buyers tax has not had a significant impact on home prices. The average sale price fell a modest -2.2% from $953,293 in the period Jun to Sep 2016 to $932,685 in the period Oct 2016 to Feb 2017. Prices have since recovered. Metro Vancouver recorded an average sale price for a residential property of $1,110,376 in May 2017, a record high. There are many factors that affect the real estate market. The influence of foreign buyers seems negligible.

In the Capital Regional District, foreign buyers were involved in 3.7% of the property transfers between Jun and Sep 2016. Since then, there has been a small, and very likely inconsequential, up-tick in foreign involvement. Foreign buyers were involved in 5.7% of the property transfers between Oct 2016 and Feb 2017.

THE VICTORIA MARKET

After a record-breaking year in 2016, it is not surprising that we are witnessing a slowdown in sales in Victoria this year. The extraordinary demand of last year has eased. However, it still remained a strong seller’s market in the 2nd Qtr of 2017. Although sales are down from last year, prices are up significantly from the 2nd Qtr of 2016. The ratio of sales-to-listings (a measure of market strength) remained strong. Properties took less time to sell and they sold for an average of about +0.6% above the original list price. Indeed, multiple offer situations are not uncommon, more than half of the homes sold at, or above, their list price.

As shown in Table 1, the number of new listings was 3,781, in the 2 Qtr of 2017, down -4.5% from 3,959 a year ago. Sales of nd residential properties (i.e., all types of housing, excluding lots/acreage and commercial) through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s MLS® totalled 2,756 in the 2nd Qtr of 2017, down -22.2% from 3,543 in the 2nd Qtr of 2016. The sales-to-new-listings ratio was .73 in the 2 Qtr of 2017, down from .90 a year ago but still nd in seller’s market territory. Homes that sold in the 2nd Qtr of 2017 were on the market for an average of 23 days, down from 36 days last year. Both average and median sale prices continue to trend upward. The average sale price of a residential property in Greater Victoria and other areas was $658,003 in the 2nd Qtr of 2017, up +11.0% from $592,712 in the 2nd Qtr of 2016. The median sale price was $575,000, up +12.8% from $510,000 last year.

The figures for Victoria compare with average residential sale prices and year-over-year percentage changes of $1,110,376 (+5.2%) in Vancouver, $740,438 (+2.2%) in the Fraser Valley, $863,910 (+14.9%) in Greater Toronto and $485,444 (+1.8%) in Calgary for the month of May 2017.

THE MARKET INVENTORY

There were 1,271 properties (including lots and acreage) active on the VREB’s MLS® database for the Greater Victoria area (i.e., excluding the Malahat, Up-Island and the Gulf Islands) on July 1, 2017, down -7.5% from 1,374 a year ago. It should be noted that the inventory was 2,796 two years ago

SINGLE FAMILY DWELLINGS (SFDs)

Sales of SFDs in Greater Victoria totalled 1,400 in the 2nd Qtr of 2017, down -27.5% from 1,931 sales in the 2nd Qtr of 2016. The average sale price of SFDs in the 2nd Qtr of 2017 was $856,939, up +12.9% from an average of $759,197 in the 2nd Qtr of 2016. Moreover, the median sale price was $755,000, up +16.2% from $650,000 in the 2nd Qtr of 2016. As shown in Chart 3, sale prices have shown sizeable and steady increases since the 4th Qtr of 2014. SFDs that sold in the 2nd Qtr of 2017 were on the market for an average of 18 days, down from 28 days last year. The sales-to-listings ratio eased to .71 in the 2nd Qtr of 2017, still in seller’s market territory, but down from .94 last year.

CONDOMINIUMS

Condominium sales totalled 877 in the 2nd Qtr of 2017. This was down -12.9% from 1,007 sales in the 2nd Qtr of 2016. The average sale price for a condo was $415,713 in the 2nd Qtr of 2017, up +17.6% from $353,456 in the 2nd Qtr of 2016. The median sale price was $365,000, up +17.0% from $312,000 last year. As shown in Chart 4, the average and median sale prices have shown a steady upward trend since the 3rd Qtr of 2015. Condos took an average of 18 days to sell in the 2nd Qtr of 2017, down from 34 days last year. The sales-to-listings ratio was .86, down slightly from .88 last year.

TOWNHOUSES

There were 283 townhouse sales in the 2nd Qtr of 2017. This was down -13.7% from 328 sales in the 2nd Qtr of 2016. The average selling price in the 2nd Qtr of 2017 was $565,630, up +23.8% from $456,829 in the 2nd Qtr of 2016. The median sale price was $497,500, up +17.1% from $425,000 last year. Townhouses took an average of 16 days to sell in the 2nd Qtr of 2017, down from 38 days last year. The sales-to-listings ratio was .85. This ratio was 1.02 last year.

LOTS/ACREAGE

There were 61 lots/acreage sold in the 2nd Qtr of 2017, down from 112 sales in the 2nd Qtr of 2016. The average and median sale prices were $608,122 and $435,750 respectively, compared to $519,491 and $402,900 last year.

Feel free to download this newsletter in PDF format.

Real Estate in Victoria …Keeping You Informed: I provide this newsletter to clients, customers and friends to help them keep informed of developments in the real estate market in the Victoria area. If you do not want to receive this newsletter in the future, please let me know. It is not intended to solicit or interfere with existing listings or Agency relationships. The information contained herein is based on sources which are believed to be reliable, but it is not guaranteed. The content of this newsletter is copyright©. The data and information outlined herein was derived from a number of sources including: the VREB, the BCREA and the CREA. The Publisher is responsible for the analysis of the data and any opinions expressed herein.

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Victoria BC – The Technology Capital

by Jodi Baker on May 26, 2017

Rooted throughout the city of Victoria is a technology industry that is growing at a rapid pace. From small beginnings and just a few companies, the tech space has grown to boast over 900 local businesses. Tech is taking over, and Victoria is the place to be for start-ups and established technology companies alike. How big is this industry? Is it worth investing in Victoria?

tectoria opening 2014

VIATEC opens Fort Tectoria in 2014.

Well, with annual revenues in excess of $4 billion this industry is considered Victoria’s most valuable. With a need for a talented workforce and room to grow, the technology industry in Victoria is driving growth and bringing a new life to the city’s local businesses.

Getting involved in the industry

The industry in Victoria is all about socializing and making those deep personal connections that foster professional growth. Much of the growth can be attributed to VIATEC, Victoria’s technology association and ambassador.  VIATEC is dedicated to bringing the community together, sharing experiences, learning, mentoring, and fostering great ideas into the next big thing.  VIATEC is a one-stop hub that connects people, knowledge, and resources, with the goal of promoting the Greater Victoria technology sector.

Another active local tech group is Ladies Learning Code (LLC), originally founded in Toronto. It is a not-for-profit organization aimed at promoting collaborative, technological learning among women and youth. From their local Victoria branch, they organize and hosts events and courses. Their events promote learning to code for individuals with little to no experience. Their aim is to have more females in the technology sector. LLC hosts workshops, camps, and other events locally and across 22+ cities in Canada.

viatec 2016 awards ceremony

2016 VIATEC Awards Ceremony.

The annual VIATEC Awards Ceremony is a true party to attend each Spring. Over 800 techies pack the Victoria Convention Centre to celebrate the local successes of the industry. VIATEC and LLC are both welcoming to new comers, so whether you are new to Victoria or just passing through the city, make sure to check for a upcoming event. If you have an idea that you want to bring to life, these events are a great place to meet like minded people looking to share their experience and help foster your idea into a reality.

Working in Victoria

British Columbia’s technology sector is leading the country in terms of job growth. Employment in the sector rose 2.9 per cent, with over 22,000 people employed among the 900 companies. Find an extensive list of current Victoria tech jobs here.

Victoria takes a more laid back approach to its lifestyle. Tech companies lead the way by encouraging a work hard-play hard approach. Many heritage buildings are undergoing restoration to accommodate the growing tech-sector. There is something for everyone in the city of Victoria. Especially for anyone looking to dig into a career in technology.

ladies learning code

( Ladies learning code encourages Digital Literacy for Women & Youth. )

For more information, visit the VIATEC website. If you would like to get involved with Ladies Learning Code, you can view more information on upcoming events or tutoring opportunities on the  LLC Victoria branch website.

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What Can $5+ Million Buy In Victoria BC

by McLean Real Estate Group April 13, 2017

Even with inflation on the rise, multi-million dollar homes are still not that common, so it’s still a thrill to window-shop for properties in the $5 million+ range. In fact, the vast majority of new home projects in the Victoria area are modern middle-class dwellings that are eco-friendly, inexpensive, and quick to build, which is […]

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Staging a house to sell

by Jodi Baker July 16, 2016

Let’s debunk the myths for staging a house Trying to sell your own home can be a risky gamble. Sure you’ll save on commissions but will you sell the home for as much or as quickly as you would working with expert realty professionals? At the very least homeowners should understand some of the essential […]

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What defines a luxury property in Victoria BC?

by Jodi Baker April 29, 2016

What is “Luxury”? To define a concept like “luxury” is, a bit like like someone’s opinion of beauty, technically impossible because it is in the eye of the beholder. If you surveyed the local residents of Victoria BC & Vancouver Island, you would find that luxury is many different things to many different people. Dictionary.com […]

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VREB Statistics for 2014/2015

by McLean Real Estate Group February 5, 2016

The Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) is an association of ~1,200 local Vancouver Island/Gulf Island REALTORS® with hands-on knowledge of the local real estate market in the Greater Victoria area. VREB Statistics for 2014/2015 in PDF Origin of VREB Buyers 2014/2015 Origin of Canadian VREB Buyers 2014/2015 Origin of VREB Buyers Outside of Canada 2014/2015 […]

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Log Homes in Victoria BC

by McLean Real Estate Group December 4, 2015

Vancouver Island is home to the mighty douglas fir, a tree that makes an excellent log for building custom homes. The reddish hues of this tree are beautiful but the straight grains, tight growth rings, and resistance to mold/fungus are the most prized attributes of this species of tree.Local douglas fir logs are carefully selected […]

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Female Veterans of Canada

by Jodi Baker November 10, 2015

Victoria BC is well known for having a largely female population, we recently mentioned that Victoria took the #1 spot nationwide for the title of ‘Best City in Canada for Women‘. Female Canadian Veterans While we identify with women living in Victoria, when it comes to Canadian veterans, even in this city, the stereotype is […]

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Moving from Calgary to Victoria BC

by McLean Real Estate Group September 28, 2015

The Gas Prices are Nice But… Heck even the gas prices in Calgary are getting a second glance with an 11c per litre price jump on Monday the 28th that’s officially ruining the local optimism that comes with a sub $1/litre gas. Price Trends for Calgary Calgary Gas Prices Provided by GasBuddy.com   Calgary isn’t a frustrating/complex city, […]

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Moving from Vancouver to Victoria BC

by McLean Real Estate Group September 4, 2015

Vancouver is a Wonderful City … But! Please don’t get the wrong idea! Vancouver wins plenty of awards and earns more than it’s fair share of international acclaim for doing many things well including hosting events like the Olympics/International Expos/World Cup/etc.. Heck, in most areas where Victoria is #1 in Canada/Internationally Vancouver is usually close […]

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