An increase in sales numbers has buoyed Greater Victoria’s real estate market as it weathers the current financial uncertainty.
For the first time since May, the number of month-over-month sales has increased, board president Karen Dinnie-Smyth said Tuesday as statistics for October were released.
Last month, real estate agents “felt that uptick happening,” she said.
There’s a bit more optimism in the market from buyers, she said.
“November, typically, we start to slow down going into December and Christmas. But certainly the momentum on the ground is there.”
October had more sales, with some homes selling through multiple offers, said Dinnie-Smyth, who added that buyers were trying to get into the market before the next interest rate increase.
In all, 480 properties were sold last month — up 17 per cent from September, but 35.6 per cent below October 2021, when 745 properties changed hands.
Single-family home sales through the board increased to 230 in October from 221 in September. They were, however, down from 339 in October 2021.
Condominium sales climbed to 152 last month, from 126 in September. But they, too, were down from 249 year-over-year.
The number of properties for sale was at 2,192 at the end of October. That’s a drop of 4.7 per cent from September, but more than double what was available in October 2021.
The benchmark price for a single-family home in the core was $1.341 million in October, down from September’s $1.364 million. In October of last year, it was $1.27 million.
The benchmark price for condominiums was $602,700 in October, down from September at $617,400. A year ago, the benchmark was at $524,500.
Looking forward, “prices will definitely be tied to interest rates,” Dinnie-Smyth said.
As far as the province’s new three-day right of rescission (which allows a buyer to cancel a contract) coming into effect in January, Dinnie-Smyth does not expect it to have an impact on the market.
Even though there are still multiple offers made on certain homes, the “vast majority” of offers come with subject-to clauses, which can be seven to 10 days. Buyers want time to go through conditions such as financing and a home inspection, and possibly to sell a house in order to purchase a new one.
In the wake of the recent municipal elections, Dinnie-Smyth urged local councils to support development of all types of housing to alleviate the shortage and the potential impact of rapid price increases.
She hoped all municipalities will implement “gentle density improvements” that will lead to more housing.