Housing in Greater Victoria remains in high demand
“Comparing last year’s April market to 2021 does not provide us any real insight into long term market trends,” said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. “Instead of comparing to last year’s numbers, we need to look at years before the pandemic to see how April 2021 compares to average. In the most recent five years pre-pandemic, the average number of sales in the month of April was 896. April 2016 holds the record for sales with 1,286 properties sold. The five-year average for active listings was 2,596, so we sit at more than one thousand homes fewer than a recent average level of inventory.”
A total of 1,116 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 288.9 per cent more than the 287 properties sold in April 2020, but 4.9 per cent fewer than the previous month of March. Sales of condominiums were up 353.4 per cent from April 2020 with 331 units sold. 12.2 per cent fewer condominiums sold in April 2021 than in the previous month of March. Sales of single family homes were up 246 per cent from April 2020 with 564 sold. 1.7 per cent fewer single family homes sold in April 2021 than in the previous month of March.
There were 1,454 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2021, 36.9 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of April 2020 and 11 per cent more than the 1,310 active listings for sale at the end of March 2021.
”We’ve seen an imbalance in our market for a quite a few months,” explained Langlois. “Our market is based on supply and demand and there is a disconnect right now with record low supply and high demand. Unfortunately, our housing supply is not as elastic as market demand is. Desire for homes in a certain market can erupt quickly, while building homes takes years. These realities make it hard to bring our market into balance. Efforts by government to dampen demand by making home ownership more expensive through taxes and borrowing limitations do not bring balance. Municipal governments adding costs and time delays to new developments do not bring balance. A commitment to developing our communities over the long term may.”
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2020 was $884,600. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2021 increased by 12.6 per cent to $996,500, a 2.9 per cent increase from the previous month of March. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in April 2020 was $533,600, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in April 2021 was $547,600, a 2.6 per cent increase.