January 4, 2011
2010 – A Return to a Balanced Real Estate Market
Last year was marked by a return to a balanced real estate market in the Greater Victoria area. Sales were strong in the early months of the year, then softened mid-year before regaining strength in the fall. A total of 6,546 homes and other properties sold in 2010 – a decline of 19 per cent compared to 2009 but almost the same number as the 6,519 sales in 2008. The value of all property transactions through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) system also declined by 14 per cent to nearly $3.24 billion.
Victoria Real Estate Board President, Dennis Fimrite, noted that while sales declined last year compared to 2009, overall average prices were stable and showed modest increases across major property types. The overall average price for single family homes increased by nearly 8.5 per cent; the average price for condominiums rose over four per cent and the average price for townhomes rose over three per cent.
Fimrite says the return to balanced market conditions is good news for both buyers and sellers, “We expect balanced market conditions to continue in the coming months and this will give both sellers and buyers a sense of stability when making important decisions regarding their future housing needs. Continued attractive mortgage rates will also contribute to a stable and balanced market.”
Fimrite added that December saw a normal decrease in sales compared to November with some minor fluctuations in prices. There were 349 sales in December, down from 479 sales in November. The average price of single family homes in Greater Victoria last month was $647,063. There were sixteen sales of over $1 million in December, including two on the Gulf Islands. The six-month average was $620,911 while the median price was significantly lower at $574,750. The average price of all condominiums sold in December was $301,671; the average for the last six months was $320,279 while the median was $285,000. The average price of all townhomes sold last month was $434,783; the six-month average was $431,182 and the median was $415,000.
MLS® sales last month included 181 single family homes, 105 condominiums, 29 townhomes and nine manufactured homes.
Fimrite noted that the number of properties available for sale declined further in December to 3,252. However, this was still 25 per cent higher than a year earlier.
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®.