WATCH: If you’re looking to buy a piece of real estate in the Victoria area right now, you better move fast and be prepared to pay, because while the number of listings is down, sales are through the roof and prices are following
A quaint little cottage in Victoria’s James Bay neighbourhood just came on the market for $499,900 — it’s considered a steal of a deal even though the 800 square foot home, built more than 100 years ago, will likely be torn down.
Realtor John Monkhouse said it’s the cheapest property in the entire area.
“There very likely will be multiple offers and very likely over the asking price,” said Monkhouse, who expects the house to be sold by Sunday when the seller sits down to consider offers.
It’s a sign of the sizzling real estate market across the region.
“I’ve been at this 37 years and this is one of the craziest markets I’ve been through in 37 years, it just doesn’t make any sense,” said Monkhouse.
One home in Victoria’s Fairfield community, which sits across the street from a grocery store parking lot, sold above asking for just over a million dollars.
“Back in 2011 it sold for just over $500,000 and today it sold for just over a million, so it doubled in price in the last five years,” said President of Royal Lepage Coast Capital Realty Bill Ethier.
Another property in Saanich’s Gordon Head area was just purchased by a Vancouver buyer as an investment for well above the asking price.
“We received nine offers, five of which were unconditional, and sold it for $930,000 which was $180,000 over asking, no conditions,” said realtor Jason Binab.
The buyer didn’t even see the house, and has no guarantee it can be rezoned for a subdivision but he told his realtor the same house would sell for $10 million in Vancouver.
“Our price is really really very reasonable even though right now most buyers pay more than the asking price… [it’s] still a deal,” said buyer’s agent May Lee.
But no matter where you come from, and how much you’re willing to pay, landing a deal in the seller’s market isn’t so easy.
“We don’t have the luxury of time and it’s a pretty frantic, frenzied feeling,” said Dick Brown, who’s trying to buy a home for his son who’s moving back to Canada from China.
Realtors say it all boils down to simple economics — supply is low and demand is high.
And while many driving that demand are coming from Vancouver, realtors here say it’s not the same scene.
“We are seeing families, this is not just investors buying here like Vancouver,” said Binab.
While predicting real estate trends is no easy task realtors generally agree the frenzy will likely slow down, the question is when.