Buyers scrambling with Greater Victoria real estate inventory at 25 year low

Buyers scrambling with Greater Victoria real estate inventory at 25 year low
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WatchWATCH: Victoria real estate sales strong due to pent up demand and B.C. buyers

It might be known as Sidney-by-the-Sea, but these days it’s construction central.

Jeff Sandeman is the CEO of Casman Properties, the company building a 45 unit condo project in Sidney.

“I would describe the market here in Sidney as very active,” said Sandeman, later adding. “It’s a great opportunity.”

Sandeman doesn’t expect any difficulties selling all 45 units in the completed project, called The Cameo.

“A lot of the buyers that we see out in the Sidney area are people coming to invest long term in the market,” he said.

These days, it appears, buyers are chasing a dwindling number of available properties in the region.

According to the Victoria Real Estate Board, housing stock for sale in December in Greater Victoria hit lows not seen in a quarter-century.

The number of listings slumped dropped more than 29 per cent from November to December 2020. Inventory took a 34.5 per cent hit from December 2019 to December 2020.

Realtor Neil Blainey says he feels lucky to have recently purchased a two-bedroom condo in Saanich.

“There are tons and tons of buyers and very very few listing. It can definitely be a challenge, especially if you find a home that you like, you could easily be competing for that same property,” he said.

Blainey says it’s a “heavy” seller’s market right now and that 2021 could a difficult year for first-time buyers.

“I do truly think that this year could be a challenge for some younger buyers, and first time home buyers out there. As we are in a very very heavy seller’s market right now.”

Tony Zarsadias, co-owner of The Condo Group, said the lack of housing before the pandemic is now having an impact.

“The 25 year low is not a surprise to me at all,” he said.

There are just 1,200 properties available in the Capital Region, and Zarsadias doesn’t see an increase in supply anytime soon unless more developments and housing is approved.

“At the end of the day we are a community and we do need more housing. and this market, I don’t see it as a healthy market,” he said.

Zarsadias says if municipalities focus on reducing red tape and streamlining the development process, it could be a step in the right direction.

WATCH: Victoria real estate sales strong due to pent up demand and B.C. buyers

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Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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