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Victoria Spring market far from the usual as real estate continues to react to pandemic
 
A total of 287 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 58.8 per cent fewer than the 696 properties sold in April 2019 and 52.8 per cent fewer than the previous month of March 2020. Sales of condominiums were down 64 per cent from April 2019 with 73 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 55.8 per cent from April 2019 with 163 sold.
 
"We continue to see the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local real estate market," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. "Sales numbers are much lower than what we expected to see this spring and new listings are slow to come to market as owners wait to see what our community's trajectory is over the course of this pandemic. As a result, the available inventory of properties for sale remains lower than in April last year. Like so many other industries, much of the real estate market is watching, waiting and adapting."  
 
There were 2,305 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2020, 16.2 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of April 2019 but a 2.4 per cent increase from the 2,252 active listings for sale at the end of March 2020.  
 
"Real estate services and REALTORS® were declared an essential service by our province in March in order to protect consumers who need to make real estate transactions during this time," adds Ayers. "This responsibility has opened opportunities for our profession to adapt our way of doing business to ensure our community's health is protected. Technology has allowed us to move much of our work online. Now you can participate in an open house from the comfort of your couch and manage your contracts and negotiations securely online. Of course, the vast majority of transactions still require an in-person showing at some point and so local Realtors are ensuring they are adhering to the advice of the Provincial Health Officer. We know that we are in complex times, but also that some people need to buy and sell. Our message has been and will be moving forward - if you need us, we are here."
 
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2019 was $843,500. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2020 increased by 4.6 per cent to $882,700, 0.6 per cent more than March's value of $877,700. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in April 2019 was $512,700 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in April 2020 increased by 3.5 per cent to $530,700, 0.2 per cent less than the March value of $531,900.
 

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Slower start to spring does not signal lower prices for Victoria real estate market

A total of 774 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 12.5 per cent fewer than the 885 properties sold in April last year, but a 12.5 per cent increase from the month previous. The sales of condominiums were down 21.6 per cent from last year in April with 225 units sold. Single family homes were 8.1 per cent down from the year previous with 420 sold this April.

"We're now into the spring real estate market, which is traditionally the busiest time of the year for buying and selling homes," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "Last year, the months of May and June were the busiest, so we may see this pattern again but on a slightly smaller scale than last year, since our sales for the year thus far are down about 18 per cent when compared to 2017. Although January to March was quite far behind last year's pace, we may see that margin get smaller as we progress through the spring months and people adjust to the new mortgage qualifying rules."

There were a total of 2,002 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2018, an increase of 13.4 per cent compared to the month of March and 18.5 per cent more than the 1,690 active listings for sale at the end of April 2017.

"We continue to see low inventory in our market, and good homes in desirable locations are still seeing multiple bids," adds President Kerr. "One interesting development we are tracking is the increase of prices in a market of fewer sales. Part of the reason for this is that there is strong pressure on lower-priced properties. After the new mortgage rule changes this year, many consumers have seen a reduction in their buying power, so more are competing for lower-priced properties and in multiple offer situations, pricing is pushed up. Our area just doesn't have the supply or mix of homes needed to meet the demand. We are working with government at all levels to identify ways to meet this demand in the CRD."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2017 was $800,100, while the benchmark value for the same home in April 2018 increased by 8.3 per cent to $866,700, higher than March's value of $859,400. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in April 2017 was $418,200, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in April 2018 increased by 18.4 per cent to $495,100, which is higher than March's value of $490,000.
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