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VREB January 2009 Report

2009 Housing Market Off to a Slow Start

 

Property sales throughout Greater Victoria in the first month of the year got off to a modest start amid continuing concern by buyers and sellers over the economy.

 

A total of 247 homes and other properties sold in January through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) up slightly from the 239 sales in December. There were 464 sales in January of last year. Last month’s sales were the lowest January sales in over 18 years. There were 3,678 properties available

for sale at the end of January. That represents a 22 per cent increase compared to January of last year but a further decline from the 3,824 properties available for sale at the end of December.

 

Victoria Real Estate Board President, Chris Markham, says the uncertain economic climate continues to have an impact on the local housing market. “It’s clear that many people are holding off on the decision to buy or sell unless they have to and are waiting until they have more confidence both in terms of their personal financial situations and in the market as a whole.” Markham cites the decline in the number of active listings over the past three months as further evidence of a “wait and see” approach among sellers.

 

The slowing market has also had an impact on prices, especially for single family homes and condominiums. The average price for single family homes sold in Greater Victoria last month was $526,148, down from $548,025 in December. The six-month average was $545,984 and the median price in January was $475,000, down from $507,500 in December. Markham noted that the softening in prices has led to improved affordability,

“Forty-two per cent of single family homes last month sold for under $450,000.”

 

The overall average price for condominiums was $259,742 last month compared to $280,487 in December. The average for the last six months was $297,649. The median price for condominiums in January was $255,000. The average price of all townhomes sold last month was $393,982 up from $389,371 in December. The six month average was $405,718 while the median price in January was substantially lower at $382,500.

 

MLS® sales last month included 141 single family homes, 62 condominiums, 32 townhomes and five manufactured homes.