There may be a chill in the air but the Victoria real estate market is showing no signs of cooling off just yet.
The Victoria region saw a total of 602 properties sold in October, and increase of 17.6 per cent over the 512 properties sold in the same month last year, according to stats released this week by the Victoria Real Estate Board.
“Here we are again, a month in 2014 ending with more sales than in 2013,” said Tim Ayres, Victoria Real Estate Board president. “This year has been a solid year for local real estate – indeed we are only 154 transactions away from meeting the total number of sales from 2013 – and there are two more months left in the year.”
Dave O’Byrne, a realtor with Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty, said sales in Oak Bay mirror the rest of the region.
“In general, the market is better and we’re kind of following the trend seen across the region,” said O’Byrne. “Is the market wild and crazy? No, absolutely not.”
He described the market as balanced, adding that if a house is priced right and is in a desirable location it can sell quickly. O’Byrne is expecting the market to cool slightly as we get closer to Christmas.
“We’re going into arguably two of the slowest months of the year in our business. People are less likely to list at this time of the year and there’s usually more options on the market in the new year. But having said that, there’s houses being listed every day, there’s people selling houses every day.”
O’Byrne expects to see more properties hit the market by February or March.
“People that are thinking about selling, they’re more likely to be sitting on it [over the holidays]. But on the other hand, you’re going to have more competition and have more people out there looking too,” said O’Byrne, adding the general consensus is that 2015 will keep pace with the growth seen over 2014.
The Multiple Listing Service Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria core this time last year was $547,800. The benchmark value increased to $553,900 in October.
“All year we’ve seen a decrease in the number of active listings and increase in sales compared to 2013 numbers,” said Ayres. “Last year at the end of October we saw 4,322 active listings, and this year we see 3,927 active listings, that’s a 9.1 per cent change.”