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Victoria Real Estate Market Update – March 2019

Posted by on Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 in Victoria Real Estate News

MARCH 2019 Blog:

The weather is finally improving in Victoria and the flowers are now starting to bloom. Most of February was snowy and cold, but the temperatures over the last week have improved greatly, leading to an increase in activity in the real estate market which should result in higher sales over the course of this month. The overall year to date sales volume is still down considerably compared to last year, but prices are holding steady. Open houses were very busy this past weekend, and the market should pick up now that the weather is improving.
The Canadian news headlines however have been quite negative over the past month. The Canadian economy has ground to a halt as far as GDP growth, and the stress test for Mortgage approvals has dampened real estate sales and contributed to lower prices across Canada. The BC Governments tax initiatives over the last 18 months have also contributed to bringing Vancouver and the Lower Mainland’s market to a screaming halt with sales down to their lowest level since 1985! Prices are down 30% in some regions.

The local Victoria market is not as bad as some other regions in Canada. Sales are down and prices have dropped slightly on upper end properties, with average prices down about 5% over the last 6 months, but over all, the lower end is doing fine, with sales and prices remaining stable. Lower interest rates are also expected in the coming months, which will help keep the market moving in a positive direction into the Spring and summer. Here are some of the statistics for February, 2019:

Listing Inventory:
There were 2,131 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February, 2019, a 38 per cent increase from the 1,545 active listings for sale at the end of February 2018, but only 3.6% higher than last month. While significantly higher than a year ago, the current levels are on par with the 10 year average, which should result in a continued balanced market for buyers and sellers throughout most of this year.

Sales:
A total of only 421 properties sold in the Greater Victoria region this February, which was 22.8 per cent fewer than the 545 properties that sold in February 2018. Sales of single family homes were down 15.8% from February 2018 with 219 homes sold. Sales of condominiums were down 25.9% from last year with 129 units sold this past month, but the total was higher than January 2019. Overall sales numbers should start to improve this spring, but the overall numbers will remain lower than 2018.

Average Prices:
Currently, the average price for a Single Family home in Victoria is sitting at $845,900, down slightly from the average price of $847,800 at the end of January, 2019. However, overall prices are down by about 5% from the peak high in the summer of 2018. Average condo prices are sitting at $502,800, slightly higher than a year ago which was $483,700. While these condo prices are slightly higher than one year ago, they have not changed much in the last 6 months and should remain relatively unchanged in the coming months.

Have a great rest of your week. If you or any of your family or friends require any real estate related information, feel free to contact Dale at 250-744-0844, or email him through his website: www.dalesheppard.com or direct at 250-744-0844. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Check out the Latest Greater Victoria Statistics: www.dalesheppard.com/resources

Click here for List of Upcoming Open Houses in Greater Victoria

 

 Interesting programs for you first time buyers

To help make homeownership more affordable for first-time home buyers, Budget 2019 introduces the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.

  • The Incentive would allow eligible first-time home buyers who have the minimum down payment for an insured mortgage to apply to finance a portion of their home purchase through a shared equity mortgage with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
  • It is expected that approximately 100,000 first-time home buyers would be able to benefit from the Incentive over the next three years.
  • Since no ongoing payments would be required with the Incentive, Canadian families would have lower monthly mortgage payments. For example, if a borrower purchases a new $400,000 home with a 5 per cent down payment and a 10 per cent CMHC shared equity mortgage ($40,000), the borrower’s total mortgage size would be reduced from $380,000 to $340,000, reducing the borrower’s monthly mortgage costs by as much as $228 per month. Terms and conditions for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive would be released by CMHC.
  • CMHC would offer qualified first-time home buyers a 10 per cent shared equity mortgage for a newly constructed home or a 5 per cent shared equity mortgage for an existing home. This larger shared equity mortgage for newly constructed homes could help encourage the home construction needed to address some of the housing supply shortages in Canada, particularly in our largest cities.
  • The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive would include eligibility criteria to ensure that the program helps those with legitimate needs while ensuring that participants are able to afford the homes they purchase. The Incentive would be available to first-time home buyers with household incomes under $120,000 per year. At the same time, participants’ insured mortgage and the Incentive amount cannot be greater than four times the participants’ annual household incomes.

Budget 2019 also proposes to increase the Home Buyers’ Plan withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000, providing first-time home buyers with greater access to their Registered Retirement Savings Plan savings to buy a home.

The budget also includes a focus on strengthening rules and compliance and INCREASING supply through partnerships and targeted investments.

Review the entire budget here

Review the complete Housing overview here

 

 

 

 

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