Fewer options for Greater Victoria homebuyers; prices strong

Would-be homebuyers in the capital region have fewer choices as the number of properties for sale continues to diminish while prices stay strong.

“This is the lowest level of inventory on the market in September that we have on record since 1996,” Mike Nugent, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board, said Monday.

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As of the end of September, there were 2,061 properties for sale. That is down by 40.7 per cent from the 3,478 properties on the market last September.

“This continuing lack of inventory holds up sales,” Nugent said.

The benchmark price for a single-family house in Greater Victoria’s core came in at $745,700 in September, up by 22.8 per cent from $607,100 in the same month last year. However, last month’s benchmark was down slightly from $746,900 in August.

September saw 781 properties change hands, down by 11.5 per cent from 883 in August.

Even so, September sales climbed by 10 per cent from 709 in the same month a year ago.

Saanich East led the way last month in single-family sales at 80, followed by Langford at 60 and Victoria at 41. Victoria had the most condominium sales at 72, with Saanich East next at 35.

The total value of all sales through the board’s Multiple Listing Service was $460 million.

Economic drivers are strong, Nugent said. “The GDP [gross domestic product] is up, employment numbers are up, retail and population growth is up.”

As well, Victoria is not seeing any signs that the foreign buyer property transfer tax imposed in Vancouver has sent foreign buyers into the local market, he said.


cjwilson@timescolonist.com

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