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High interest rates continue to dampen Greater Victoria's real estate market

The Victoria Real Estate Board says last month was the sixth straight month of declining sales since figures peaked in May.
web1_monthly-real-estate-stats-nov-2023
Real estate statistics for November 2023.

High interest rates continue to slow home sales in the Greater Victoria area, according to figures released Friday by the Victoria Real Estate Board.

Last month, 394 sales were recorded, down from 407 in October — the sixth straight month of declining sales since figures peaked in May with 775 properties changing hands.

Victoria Real Estate Board chair Graden Sol said he wasn’t surprised to see sales numbers below long-term averages, given the current interest-rate environment.

While the number of single-family homes sold increased six per cent year-over-year to 196, condominium sales slipped 11.8 per cent over the same period to 120 and townhouse sales rose 32 per cent in that time period to 49 last month.

The total number of sales is marginally above the 384 sales recorded in the same month last year.

At the same time, sale prices have remained relatively stable.

The board’s benchmark value — which it considers a more accurate reflection of the market than averages — for a single-family home in the region was $1.147 million in November, down from $1.162 million in October, and higher than the $1.12 million in November last year.

The median sale price for a single-family home in the region last month was $1.112 million compared with $1.115 million in October of this year and $1 million in November 2022.

In the core — Victoria, Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Saanich and View Royal — the benchmark price for a single-family home was $1.286 million, down slightly from the $1.3-million mark set in October of this year but up from the $1.248 million at the same time last year.

The benchmark value for a condominium in the region in November was $575,800, down from $582,500 in October, but higher than the $566,000 benchmark in November last year.

The townhouse benchmark hit $768,400 in November, down slightly from the $773,100 in October and higher than last November’s $762,300.

The board has seen another month with more listings hitting the market.

By the end of November, there were 2,644 active listings in the region, up from 2,111 at the same time last year — a 25 per cent increase.

“This is positive news as we recover from that long-term trend of very low inventory,” said Sol, adding that the longer the market remains balanced, the easier it becomes for people to move within it.

“Local people who planned to sell and move within the Greater Victoria area may have hesitated to list their homes back when record low inventory meant less choice when they became buyers. Now that we see some balance in the market, these people have more inventory to pick from and may feel more confident listing their existing home.”

aduffy@timescolonist.com