It’s been a good year in Oak Bay real estate, but with limited houses on the market, buyers are yearning for more choice.
“There’s no question it’s strong,” Oak Bay realtor Tony Joe says of the current real estate market. “It’s just a reminder of what a (special) place Oak Bay is.”
While that’s good news for sellers, who have seen prices climb considerably since this time last year, it’s tough when those same sellers are also looking to move into something new in the same neighbourhood.
“Most of our clients who sell end up wanting to buy, and that’s the rub,” Joe says.
Advice to clients looking to sell comes down to being prepared. “The first thing is they have to be ready,” Joe says.
“People will do best if the sell now and ideally negotiate a longer posession date,” he adds, pointing out that typically inventory increases in February and March.
“Definitely we’re going to see more inventory and I’m actually surprised we haven’t seen more yet,” he says.
At the same time, Joe is expecting December to remain busy right through the holidays.
While traditional thought has the Christmas season as a quieter time in real estate, recent years have shown that isn’t necessarily the case, he says.
Looking ahead, while Joe expects the Oak Bay market to continue strong, he anticipates that additional homes coming on the market in the new year will help temper price increases.
“It’s just indicative of supply and demand,” he says.
Compared to 2007 when prices continued climbing, “I think we’ve seen the big bump.”
As to why the local market – including similar areas like Fairfield and to some extent James Bay – have grown so hot while other cities haven’t see the same growth, Joe points to to the effect of high prices on the Lower Mainland, paired with the local quality of life.
People can sell in Vancouver for top dollar and relocate to the south Island, with its various amenities and in Oak Bay in particular, its village atmosphere.
“There’s no question we’re finding a lot of spillover from Vancouver and the Lower Mainland,” he says.
“I’m feeling good about 2016. I’m feeling we’re going to do just fine.”