Sales pace, prices down for Victorian homes

Real estate sales numbers and prices have softened this year compared to last year’s hot market as the number of properties on the market continues to climb.

“Sales numbers for this April are more moderate than the higher levels we’ve seen in recent years,” Victoria Real Estate Board chair Graden Sol said Monday when monthly statistics were revealed.

Prices have stabilized for now, he said.

“We are in a familiar market pattern, where the majority of sales for the year occur in the spring.”

Although sales rose by eight per cent in April from March, “we are not expecting to return to record-setting activity,” he said.

The housing market in the capital region has been affected by the same pressures as other markets; factors include inflation, interest rates, supply-chain issues and a shortage of labour.

Inventory levels remain low and new properties are slow to come onto the market, Sol said.

“More inventory is needed to balance the supply against spring demand.”

Last month, there were 2,043 properties on the market, a major improvement from April 2022 when there were only 1,365 properties for sale. Inventory rose by 3.7 per cent in April from March.

Despite the cooler climate, bidding wars still broke out at times, Sol said.

Factors influencing multiple-offer situations include price, competition, area, and the condition of a home.

Well-priced homes are selling quickly and close to their asking price, he said.

A total of 637 properties sold in April through the board’s multiple listing service.

That’s up by eight per cent from March but lags by 27.7 per cent from April last year. Single family sales slid by 19.4 per cent from April 2022 and condominium sales dropped by 21.8 per cent year-over-year.

As for prices, Greater Victoria’s housing market remains unaffordable for many even if benchmark sales prices are lower than a year ago.

The benchmark price for a single-family house in the Victoria core (Victoria, Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Saanich and View Royal) was $1.264 million last month.

That was a decline from April 2022 at $1.423 million.

Last month’s benchmark price for a condominium in the Victoria core was $565,000, down by 10.3 per cent from $630,200 the same month last year.

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