The average price to buy a home in Greater Victoria has risen to $1.16 million, according to the Victoria Real Estate Board.
In February 2020 the average home price was $899,443 — a jump of more than a quarter of a million dollars.
Even the median price of homes has shot up by $78,567 to $978,000.
“It always relates back to supply and demand,” said Saira Waters of Royal LePage Oak Bay. “Right now we are in a perfect storm where supply is incredibly low and demand is incredibly high.”
Experts say it’s a perfect storm of market conditions: people wanting bigger spaces to work from home during the pandemic, new home construction constraints, hesitancy for homeowners to sell and record low interest rates.
Because of it, first time buyers are being forced to change plans.
“Either buying a property that is less expensive, that means buying a condo, generating some equity, and then eventually selling then eventually getting to a townhouse or then a house,” said Waters.
“It does take time. And I think first time buyers need to get it out of their head that they are going to get their dream home right out of the gate.”
Even condos saw a $52,053 price jump compared to this time last year.
“The condo market has more selection, it’s not as bad, it’s not as tough,” said Tony Zarsadias, Personal Real Estate Corporation.
“It’s still tough, I’m not saying it’s not tough but it’s not as bad as the single family market…The reality is condo values are going up as well, but there is a bit of a vacuum. Even though the house prices have gone up a ton, condo prices tend to follow.”
Zarsadias and The Condo Group expect them to go up in the next six months.
The idea that this bubble could burst is also unlikely, according to others.
“When you have enough people with enough assets in this market and the fundamentals are still fairly strong, I know we like to think it’s a bubble,” said Mark Holland, a real estate development consultant.
“Land prices haven’t come down much. The greatest recession of modern human generations’ memory 10 years ago; the average Canadian house price only dropped 10 per cent and came storming back shortly.”
Holland says easier zoning and building is key, along with more support from the province.
Many are turning to outer communities but they are struggling to set up infrastructure and inventory. This also leading to higher costs, according to the report.
For now though experts say it looks like we will continue to see the high prices grow.
More details from the Victoria Real Estate Board’s report:
- There were 1,318 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service at the end of February 2021, 38 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of February 2020.
- A total of 863 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 53.3 per cent more than the 563 properties sold in February 2020.
- Sales of condominiums were up 65.7 per cent this February with 290 units sold.
- Single family homes were up 43.9 per cent from February 2020 with 390 sold.