January has now passed and we are looking forward to Spring weather and the year ahead. The Victoria Real Estate Board has released their monthly statistics report, and we’ve been able to analyze the results of the first month of 2018.

We expected to see a slower month – January is not typically a month where properties are ‘flying off the shelves’. Additionally, with the new mortgage rules, we expected to see a slight slow-down this month before the typical ‘Spring market’ hits.

Overall, we saw 431 residential sales in Greater Victoria this January, slightly less than the 478 sales in January of 2017. There were 1,491 active listings on the market at the end of the month, compared to 1,516 at the end of last January. We weren’t surprised to see a lull compared to last year, because of the new mortgage rules, and also because we are anticipating the market to level out and move more towards a balanced market. Moving towards a balanced market may give buyers a better chance to find a home in Victoria than they have had over the past 2 years.

“We expected January to be a bit slower after the increase in activity we saw in November and December, which was likely due in part to buyers entering the market early to avoid the new mortgage stress test,” says 2018 Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. “We have yet to see the full effect of the stress test, as many people attained a 90 -120 day pre-approval before the test became required January 1. We won’t know how much that stress test will affect the spring market until we see the numbers, and spring is also the time when sales traditionally pick up.”

As for condos, we saw only 118 sales in January this year, a 30% decrease from last year. However, the average selling price is still holding at $495,718, a 33% increase over January of last year, with condos selling an average of 4 days faster in 2018.

“2017 concluded with very constrained inventory levels, which hit record lows early in January. The lack of inventory in our market is maintaining pressure on pricing, especially as high demand continues in many areas of Victoria,” adds President Kerr.

To read the full release, check it out here: http://www.vreb.org/current-statistics

If you are looking to purchase or sell a property in the current market, or in the future, get in touch with The Condo Group for expert insight and advice at 250-382-6636.

— Amy Francoeur