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The 2020 Victoria real estate market year in review
 
A total of 631 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 57 per cent more than the 402 properties sold in December 2019 and a 20.6 per cent decrease from November 2020. Sales of condominiums were up 61.2 per cent from December 2019 with 195 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 58.6 per cent from December 2019 with 314 sold.
 
A grand total of 8,497 properties sold over the course of 2020, 17.1 percent more than the 7,255 that sold in 2019. 2020 sales came in close to one thousand sales over the ten-year average of 7,329 properties.
 
“This has been an unexpected year on many levels,” says 2020 Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March and April quickly swept away any illusions that our normal seasonal market patterns would persist. Equally surprising was the resurgence of our market in early summer when restrictions lightened and pent-up demand began pushing sales beyond expectations. The combination of the ongoing pandemic, historically low interest rates and a shift in consumer priorities towards properties that cater to a more home-based work / life / retirement balance resulted in record setting sales for the last several months of 2020.”
 
There were 1,279 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2020, a decrease of 29.5 per cent compared to the previous month of November and a 34.5 per cent decrease from the 1,952 active listings for sale at the end of December 2019. This represents the lowest inventory of active listings at month-end in at least the last 25 years.
 
“The other side of our local story was the inventory,” adds Ayers. “We ended the year on a record low of properties available in Greater Victoria. This means that the huge demand we see for homes in our area is not being met by supply and prices are being pushed upwards as buyers vie for homes. Even historically lower-priced markets like the Highlands and the Westshore are seeing pressure as buyers adjust what suits their needs and focus on home ownership. What remains consistent is that in this complex market, your REALTOR® can help to navigate one of the biggest purchases most will make in their lifetime." 
 
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2019 was $857,200. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2020 increased by 6.8 per cent to $915,100, slightly more than November’s value of $903,100. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in December 2019 was $520,100, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in December 2020 decreased by 0.9 per cent to $515,600, slightly less than the November value of $516,600.
 
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Victoria real estate market impacted by many different factors in June
 
A total of 808 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this June, 9.2 per cent more than the 740 properties sold in June 2019 and 76.8 per cent more than the previous month of May 2020. Sales of condominiums were down 3.2 per cent from June 2019 with 209 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 16.8 per cent from June 2019 with 460 sold.
 
"This June we saw competing factors from all different sides of the real estate equation," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. "If all we do is look at numbers, we see a fairly normal June, in the midst of a very not normal world. The impact of COVID-19 on our entire economy continues. And while some buyers and sellers are slow to emerge from isolation, others have been highly active since the start of Phase 2 of BC's Restart Plan. Because of the pandemic, an eviction order that prohibited a landlord from ending a tenancy was introduced. The order may have kept some homes from going to market. The portion of this order that prevented a seller from providing vacant possession of a tenanted home was lifted late this month, which may bring some listings to market that had been stalled. Due to the pandemic alone, we have multiple factors influencing the inventory and sales in our market."
 
There were 2,698 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of June 2020, 11.3 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of June 2019 but a 6.1 per cent increase from the 2,544 active listings for sale at the end of May 2020.  
 
"Additionally, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation announced changes that start July 1 which will reduce the borrowing power of some buyers who insure through CMHC," adds Ayers. "This may have pushed some demand forward - although there are alternate suppliers of mortgage insurance. Ongoing low inventory levels also mean that we are seeing a fair number of multiple offers. The condo market is slightly softer in terms of sales numbers. This may be in part due to the recent strata insurance issues which caused concern for owners and sellers. The government promised this month to begin to address the insurance issue, so there may be some relief on the horizon. These are not normal days for local real estate, nor is this month a signal of a return to normal, regardless of the numbers. That said, buyers and sellers are successfully navigating our market with the help of local REALTORS®, who know how to implement health and safety protocols and understand the complexities of our current market. As always, I recommend you consult your Realtor to understand what is happening in the moment."
 
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in June 2019 was $861,800. The benchmark value for the same home in June 2020 increased by 4 per cent to $896,200, 1.2 per cent more than May's value of $885,400. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in June 2019 was $519,100, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in June 2020 increased by 1.3 per cent to $525,600, 1.6 per cent less than the May value of $534,300.

 
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CMHC - changes to come July 1, 2020
 
Outgoing Canadian Mortgage and Housing CEO Evan Siddall has rolled out changes to new applications for homeowner transactional and portfolio mortgage insurancewhich may impact your clients. Siddall said new measures that go live July 1, “will protect homebuyers, reduce government and taxpayer risk and support the stability of housing markets while curtailing excessive demand and unsustainable house price growth.”
 
Forecasts in CMHC's Housing Market Outlook released for Spring 2020 indicate that the average MLS® price will decline by 9% to 18% from its pre-COVID-19 levels before beginning to recover in the first half of 2021, reflecting the negative outlook for impacts on income and employment. Siddall said COVID-19 has exposed longstanding financial-market vulnerabilities, and "we must act now to protect the economic futures of Canadians."
 
Changes to CMHC mortgage insurance eligibility requirements as of July 1st:
 
  • A minimum credit score of 680 instead of the current 600
  • The maximum GDS (gross debt service) moves from 39 per cent to 35 per cent and the maximum TDS (total debt service ratio) from 44 per cent to 42 per cent
  • Homebuyers no longer allowed to use borrowed funds for their down payment
 
Mortgage insurance is mandatory in Canada for loans with a down payment of less than 20 per cent. There are private insurers, but none (as of 06-16-2020) have publicly announced adoption of CMHC's new numbers.
 
CREA and other industry stakeholders continue to work with CMHC to advocate for support for home owners and those who wish to become home owners.
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Check out our latest listing ! A one bedroom, one bathroom condo in the heart of Bear Mountain. Fantastic Value and Price. If you chose to live in Victoria, this place is a must see. Located in a beautiful neighbourhood, close to the Westin Hotel. Some say this neighbourhood looks like the village in Whistler! A tourist attraction, a golfer and tennis player's paradise. I love the trails and patio restaurants with amazing views that are within walking distance and I love the pet friendly environment and neighbourhood.


Own a piece of your own resort in Bear Mountain and check this condo out! 


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Episode 3 of Open House by BCREA focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on REALTORS®. Hear from BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson about the new Market Intelligence Report exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the BC housing market, and Manager of Professional Services Jennifer Lynch about the changes to Realtors' day-to-day lives and business.
Listen Now
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When it comes to real estate sold contact the BC Home Group to help you. We have a team of experts on stand-by. We can follow up and answer any of your real estate questions. If we do not have your answer we will make sure to guide you in the right directions. Always here to help ! 
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This is great information to be shared with fellow realtors as we get instructions on what to do for our clients.


As the situation around COVID-19 continues to disrupt people’s lives, we’re actively working to update our online information for professionals and consumers. We encourage you to keep checking our COVID-19 and Real Estate page for new resources and guidance, including external links to resources you may find useful. 
 

RECBC has developed checklists to help you manage challenges related to COVID-19 when working with clients. All real estate professionals should be discussing COVID-19 with their clients to work cooperatively to find solutions that minimize risk for all parties. You can find the checklists, along with advice and considerations for professionals, on our website:

  • Sellers Checklist
  • Buyers Checklist
  • Landlord/Tenant Checklist
  • Strata Checklist

If you are working with clients or members of the public who have questions about how their real estate transaction or management services will be impacted by COVID-19, RECBC’s consumer information may be a helpful resource: Information for Real Estate Consumers on COVID-19. 

Service Reminder 
BC has declared a provincial health emergency, and so we encourage you to not visit our office in person at this time. We are continuing to provide all licensing, education, audit, and compliance services. 

We are available to serve real estate professionals and members of the public by phone or email. Do not send anything to our office by mail with the exception of applications containing original Criminal Record Search documents. You can reach us at info@recbc.ca or by phone at 604-683-9664, toll-free 1-877-683-9664.  

Real estate professionals and consumers with questions about how real estate services may be affected by COVID-19, please contact our Professional Standards Advisors at advisor@recbc.ca, or by phone at 604-683-9664, toll-free 1-877-683-9664. 

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Hi Global Family !


Hoping everyone out there is safe and secure with their families. I just wanted to share with my colleagues and web friends that are in the middle of a real estate transaction a Corona Covd-19 clause you could use as part of your contract. This was shared with me by my managing broker and I thought it would be very useful for everyone out there. If i can help support you in any way, please feel free to reach out to me. I am positive this will all pass and this is a good time for us to self reflect and appreciate our blessings as well as our families.


Kind Regards, 


1-778-678-5626 Shirin Purewal.


"The parties agree and acknowledge that in the event that either the Buyer, Buyer’s lender, the Seller, or either of their respective legal counsel, the Land Title Office or other necessary government agency becomes the subject of a voluntary or mandatory COVID-19 virus quarantine or closure prior to the Completion Date that results in the Buyer’s or Seller’s inability to perform their obligations on the Completion Date, the Completion Date shall be extended to the day that is ten (10) business days following the day that the quarantine or closure order is lifted by the applicable government authority or authorities as the case may be (the “Extended Completion Date”). Provided however that if the Extended Completion Date is greater than sixty (60) business days from the original Completion Date then unless the parties otherwise agree in writing, this contract will be at an end, and neither party will have any further obligations to the other, and any deposit being held shall be forthwith released  to the Buyer. In the event that the original completion date is extended pursuant to this provision the parties agree that adjustment and possession dates will be extended to the same date as the extended completion date.

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A total of 696 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 10 per cent fewer than the 774 properties sold in April 2018 but an 8.8 per cent increase from March 2019. Sales of condominiums were down 9.8 per cent from April 2018 with 203 units sold but were up from March 2019 by 3.6 per cent. Sales of single family homes were down 12 per cent from April 2018 with 369 sold.
 
"Spring has been a non-traditional real estate market thus far," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. "Consumer purchasing power continues to be negatively impacted by the B20 mortgage stress test, causing many buyers to step back while they save more money for a down payment."
 
There were 2,751 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2019, an increase of 13 per cent compared to the month of March and a 37.4 per cent increase from the 2,002 active listings for sale at the end of April 2018.  
 
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2018 was $874,800. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2019 decreased by 3.4 per cent to $845,100, higher than March's value of $843,600. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in April 2018 was $506,900, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in April 2019 increased by 1 per cent to $511,700, higher than March's value of $506,500.
 
"Prices have remained reasonably flat across the region and are expected to stay that way," adds President Woolley. "Presently, REALTORS® are busy showing homes and bringing new listings to the market, but with few new options to view, we are still seeing multiple offer situations when that right property does become available. Given the current dynamic and evolving market conditions, it's a good time to chat with your Realtor about a personal plan for buying or selling a property." 
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September 12, 2018

Significant interest in a corporation or trust that acquires Real Estate


As of September 17, 2018, individuals with a significant interest in a corporation or trust that acquires real estate property may need to be identified on the property transfer tax return. In addition, the Province is establishing a public registry administered by the Land Title Survey Authority to record beneficial ownership of land, such as corporations and trusts.


During the transition stage, the Province will require all individuals who own a beneficial interest in property to disclose such interest. The Province will also be enacting legislation that will require corporations in B.C. to hold accurate and up-to-date information on beneficial owners of land in their own records office to be available to governmental authorities.

  

Although the Province has not announced any tax liability with respect to the foregoing, it may be that corporations and bare trusts may incur tax liabilities in the future. Clients intending to purchase through a corporation or trust are well advised to obtain advice from qualified tax advisors or a lawyer prior to entering into contracts of purchase and sale.


More information can be found at the following link: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/tax-changes/whats-new/property-taxes.

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A total of 708 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this June, 29.8 per cent fewer than the 1,008 properties sold in June of last year, and a 6.2 per cent decrease from May 2018. The sales of condominiums were down 25.1 per cent from last year in June with 230 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 34.7 per cent from 2017 with 357 sold this June.
 
"June typically signals the conclusion of the busy spring market, and activity lightens into the summer," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "However, because of decelerating growth due to aggressive government implementation of policies to reduce demand, Victoria's real estate market has been hobbled since the start of the year when federal restrictions around mortgage qualifications were rolled out. Even demand side measures that are not yet live, like the Vancouver/Kelowna/Nanaimo/Victoria-specific Speculation Tax, are dragging the market down as many consumers stand aside to watch what happens."
 
There were a total of 2,595 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of June 2018, an increase of 8.4 per cent compared to the month of May and 35.5 per cent more than the 1,915 active listings for sale at the end of June 2017.  
 
"The good news is that inventory is slowly being added to the market, though we are still very far off from our ten year average inventory level of 4,100 listings" adds President Kerr. "The slower pace of the market has created more time for buyers who may have been hesitant to jump in during the high pressure market conditions of recent years
. Homes are spending a bit longer on the market and there are fewer multiple offer situations than in the past, and if we see more listings over the next few months we may be heading back into a more balanced market situation. Every type and location of property is a separate segment of our market, and there are varying pressures and demands, so if you are buying or selling it is wise to take advantage of the services of your local REALTOR® to help navigate this changing market."  

<MLS® Home Price Index reporting is currently unavailable. This document will be updated when the June numbers are released.>

Stats will be posted on the VREB website this afternoon.
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