The local real estate market continues to cool down fast.
Figures from the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) show that sales in August dropped 42.5 percent compared to August 2021 as realtors sold 478 properties. Compared to July 2022, sales dropped 6.3 percent. The August figures come after July sales set a new 20-year-low for the market, according to Leo Spalteholz, a realtor and analyst at housevictoria.ca
Karen Dinnie-Smyth, VREB’s president, said the latest figures confirm August as one of the slower months for sales.
“After two years of market conditions that favored home sellers, sales have decreased in the past few months and inventory levels have been slowly increasing,” she said in a release.
Available figures point to the emergence of a balanced market as the ratio of sales to active listings has dropped to 28.14 percent. In August 2021, the ratio was 94.91 percent, meaning that almost every listing had turned into a sale. According to experts, a market is balanced if this ratio lies between 15 to 20 percent. If it falls below 10 percent, the market favors buyers.
These figures have evolved against the backdrop of rising interest rates in Canada, as authorities are trying to curb inflation, with more interest rate hikes looming and among growing fears of an accompanying recession.
Would-be buyers in Greater Victoria could choose from 2,137 active listings at the end of August, a minimal decline compared to July 2022, but an increase of almost 91 percent compared to the end of August 2021.
Figures show a slight drop in prices. The average single-family home in Victoria cost just under $1,312,800 in August 2022, down $57,000 from July 2022. Other areas within VREB’s coverage also recorded drops compared to July 2022. This said, prices remain at relatively high levels. For the entirety of VREB, the cost of a single-family home was just under $1.249 million in August, down 2.9 percent from July but up 15.8 percent from August 2021. Oak Bay remains the most expensive place to buy a single-family home at $1.899 million followed by North Saanich (just under $1.52 million) and Metchosin (just under $1.381 million).
The Gulf Islands remain the cheapest place to buy real estate in the VREB coverage area with a single-family home costing just under $856,000 followed by Sooke (just under $915,000) and the Malahat Area (just under $984,000).
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