Prices for single-family houses and condominiums in Greater Victoria’s core hit new records last month amid a persistent shortage of properties on the market and continuing strong demand.
The benchmark value for a single-family house in the core — made up of Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay, Esquimalt and View Royal — hit a high of $1.161 million last month, up by 24.6 per cent from January 2021, when it was $932,200, the Victoria Real Estate Board said Tuesday.
In December, the benchmark in the core was close to $1.145 million.
A benchmark measures the value of a home in a particular area over time, a method the real estate industry says more accurately reflects the market than average prices.
The benchmark price for a single-family home across the region as a whole was slightly lower, at nearly $1.085 million.
January brought a new high of $587,300 for condominiums in the core area, up 20.5 per cent from the January 2021 benchmark of $487,500. December’s benchmark was $570,600.
Greater Victoria as a whole recorded a benchmark condo price of $578,000.
The capital region’s inventory of properties for sale through the real estate board’s multiple listing service stood at 744 on Monday, down from 1,321 in January 2021.
The market will be slow to change until inventory increases, board president Karen Dinnie-Smyth said Tuesday.
“This means we need to see supply added of all types of housing and we need to establish a sustainable source of supply into the upcoming years to meet growth. The reality of housing is that it takes years to add new numbers and until we are better able to meet demand, our market will be under pressure.”
In the past month, 474 properties changed hands in Greater Victoria.
Demand is also outpacing supply north of the Malahat, the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board said.
A total of 220 single family homes sold in January, with a benchmark price of $804,500, up 36 per cent from January 2021. Condos in the region had a benchmark price last month of $409,100, up by 29 per cent in one year.
Erica Kavanaugh, board president, said unless demand declines or more homes become available through new construction, the situation is unlikely to change.
“The issue of supply is not a new one in B.C. but the lack of inventory we are experiencing is compounded by the pandemic and decades of insufficient planning.”
The B.C. Real Estate Association said last year ended with a record 124,854 home sales in the province. Average residential prices climbed by 18.7 per cent in one year across B.C.