Saanich real estate sales top $65 million in November

New figures show the price for an average single family home in the Greater Victoria area now exceeds $900,000, as November sales rose 12 per cent compared to the same period last year. November sales also exceeded October sales.

Ara Balabanian, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB), said the sales spike likely reflect a response to changing mortgage rules, calling it a “good example” of how outside forces can change market behaviour.

The federal banking regulator — known as Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions —announced the implementation of new lending guidelines that tighten mortgage requirements, starting Jan. 1.

“We suggested last month that some buyers may accelerate their purchase timeline to buy a new home in anticipation of the mortgage stress test on uninsured buyers — those with a down payment of 20 per cent or more — that will come into effect on Jan. 1,” he said.

Based on sales, some buyers have in fact sped up their purchasing plans to avoid the new mortgage stress test, with more to come, Balabanian said.“It’s quite likely we’ll see a little bump in sales over December, and even January as buyers who are avoiding the stress test will be making purchases,” he said.

But Balabanian warns against reading too much. This is not the start of a new trend, he said.

“Generally the winter months, particularly December and January, are quieter for real estate,” he said. “December is traditionally the very lowest month for listings and sales.”

During the holiday season, sellers often pause their listings, which means there is often less choice on the market, he said. “However, many buyers suspend their searches, which means serious buyers can find interesting opportunities.”

For now, numbers in Victoria are pointing up. “While not a record, it is the highest November sales count we’ve tracked since 1996,” he said. “It is also rare that we see November numbers beat October numbers.” Other markets have reported have reported similar developments.

Local housing prices have also risen. According to VREB, the average selling price of a single-family home in Greater Victoria was $902,985, up 5.6 per cent from the month before and 5.9 per cent compared to the same time last year. Back in November 2016, the average price of a single-family home stood at $852,590.

Balabanian warned against reading too much into that figure. “The average for a month doesn’t indicate what most buyers will pay for a home – two or three high value properties selling in a month can really increase an average in a smaller market like Victoria,” he said.

Looking at Saanich figures, 78 single family homes sold in November for a total of nearly $65 million,with sales in Saanich East outpacing Saanich West. Prices in Saanich East for single family homes also outpaced prices in Saanich West — $855,300 versus $705,600.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Central Saanich to formally inform Agricultural Land Commission about soccer pitch proposal

Move is meant for information only with no application having come forward yet

Victoria man to run marathon after overcoming rare cancer diagnosis

Nigel Deacon was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2010

Burger sales bring in $5,000 to build Imagination Libraries in Greater Victoria

United Way of Greater Victoria and Big Wheel Burger team up to get kids reading

Donated sculpture in Sidney’s Beacon Park a testament to perseverance

Victoria artist Armando Barbon picked up sculpting 22 years ago

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Most Read