September 1, 2010
Real Estate Market Softens in August
The property market throughout Greater Victoria softened in August with fewer sales and a decline in overall prices for single family homes and condominiums; overall prices for townhomes, however, rose in August.
A total of 425 homes and other properties sold in August through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), down from the 527 sales in July. There were 764 sales in August of last year.
Victoria Real Estate Board President, Randi Masters, noted that a softening of sales this year compared to last year was not unexpected given that 2009 was an exceptional year. “Looking ahead, we anticipate that the market will remain relatively stable as any increase in interest rates in the near future will likely be modest. While there may be some further slowing of sales and moderation of prices compared to the unusual year we had in 2009, we expect such changes to be gradual for the foreseeable future,” said Masters.
Masters added that the Canadian experience has been very different from that in the U.S. where the significant correction in home prices is set against a massive oversupply of homes due to distress sales, combined with a drop in housing demand due to high unemployment. “There is no indication at present that we will be faced with a similar situation arising in our market,” commented Masters.
The number of properties available for sale at the end of last month declined to 4,356 but this was still 24 per cent higher compared to the 3,509 available properties in August of last year. The average price for single-family homes sold in Greater Victoria last month was $586,676 down from $615,004 in July. The median price declined to $548,500. The six-month average declined slightly to $629,272. There were eight single family home sales of over $1 million in August compared to 16 such sales the previous month.
The overall average price for condominiums was $320,874 last month, down from $322,905 in July. The average for the last six months was $330,234. The median price for condominiums in August declined to $275,000. The average price of all townhomes sold last month, however, rose to $432,284 from $420,578 in July. The median price rose to $405,000. The six month average was $439,636.
MLS® sales last month included 223 single family homes, 113 condominiums, 43 townhomes and 15 manufactured homes.
** While the use of average price information can be useful in establishing trends when applied over a period of time, i.e. six months or longer, the Victoria Real Estate Board cautions that an average price does not indicate the actual value of any particular property. Those requiring specific information on property values should contact a REALTOR®.