A survey shows Greater Victoria recorded one of the greatest year-to-year drops in sales to listings as it heads towards — albeit very slowly — a more balanced market.
This said, it remains one of the most competitive real estate markets in Canada and the only seller’s market in western Canada among surveyed communities.
Victoria, according to a survey by Zoocasa, a brokerage firm, remains a seller’s market, as measured by the ratio of sales-to-new-listings. As of July 2018, it stands at 62 per cent — down 12 per from July 2017, based on figures from Canadian Real Estate Board.
This drop gives Victoria third place among the markets with the greatest year-over-year decline. The Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver lead that list with drops of 15 and 13 per cent respectively, and both markets have now entered balanced market territory.
“British Columbia, in particular, has weathered considerable challenges, as tougher mortgage hurdles compound with foreign buyer and speculation taxes, making steep affordability even more acute, and dampening home buyer demand,” the survey notes.
But the figures also clearly show that these market conditions continue to favour sellers. The report identifies three regions in eastern Canada — Ottawa, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, and London and St. Thomas — as the most competitive real estate markets to enter with ratios of 72, 73, and 78 per cent respectively.
Overall, of the 26 markets surveyed across Canada, only one qualifies as a buyers’ market: Newfoundland and Labrador. Of the remaining markets, 11 qualify as balanced, with the rest falling into the category of seller’s market. With the exception of Victoria, all markets lie in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada.
Canada as a country qualifies as a balanced market, according to the survey’s definitions. A buyer’s market has a sales-to-new listings ratios of between zero to 39 per cent, a balanced market has a ratio that ranges from 40 to 60 per cent, and a sellers’ market has a ratio of 61 per cent and up.