Greater Victoria Home Sales Continue Slide in September

Decline led by detached houses and townhomes, as condo sales remain robust – and prices still rising
Joannah Connolly
October 2, 2017

Greater Victoria saw 640 real estate sales in September, which is 18.1% down from the 781 of last September, according to Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) statistics released October 2.

Of those sales, 605 were residential properties, which is a slide of 12.3% in the single month since August 2017. This follows month-over-month declines of 8.1% in August and 22% in July, as the market continues to cool after its relatively hot spring activity.

Unlike in August, September’s home sales were markedly lower than those of two years ago, but higher than those of the previous four years.

 

VREB president Ara Balabanian said, “We can certainly feel the difference in the current market when we compare to last year’s record-breaking numbers. Last year the pace of the market was intense, there was a lot of pressure on pricing and demand. Now the tempo of the market is trending slowly – very slowly – towards more balanced conditions. Recently we’ve seen overall price increases level out, which can indicate slightly less demand, and inventory is building.”

The board said there were 1,976 active listings for sale on the VREB Multiple Listing Service® as of the end of September, an increase of 3.1% compared with one month earlier, but 4.1% fewer than the 2,061 active listings for sale one year ago.

The benchmark price, although not rising as quickly as it once was, still continued to rise in September, up 10.9% year over year to $823,100.

Home Type Breakdown

The overall decline in home sales in September was driven by detached homes and townhomes, with condos putting in a much better performance.

Single-family home sales in Greater Victoria dropped steeply in August, with the 277 sales a decline of 22.6% compared with September 2016. That might be expected, but it’s also a fall of 18.3% in one month since August this year.

Townhomes and other similar attached properties fared even worse, although they had less effect as a smaller segment of the market, and are much more subject to larger percentage swings. There were 57 townhouse sales in September – a monthly decline of 26.9% compared with August, and 29.6% lower than a year ago.

After a slower August, condo sales rebounded to 214 sales, a rise of 4.4% year over year and 3.9% over August.

Single-family home benchmark prices in Greater Victoria increased 12.7% year over year to $692,800, compared with $614,900 in September 2016. However, this was a further monthly decline, down 0.2% from August, as detached prices failed to reach spring’s highs.

The price of a typical Greater Victoria townhome rose 14.1% year over year to $555,200, a very slight rise of 0.1 % compared with August.

Condos once more saw the biggest annual price growth, rising 20.9% year over year to a new benchmark price of $436,800, and a month-over-month uptick of 0.4%.

“Simply because we’ve seen sales drop from last year is not dire or unexpected news for our local real estate market,” said Balabanian. “And of course there are neighbourhoods that are still tracking up in terms of value from last year.”

For a visual overview of September’s Victoria real estate market trends, see our detailed infographic below. These infographics are interactive so feel free to click around and explore. 

 

 

Home sales and prices vary widely throughout the Greater Victoria region. For detailed information, go to the full September 2017 VREB statistics package.

Joannah Connolly
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.