Dramatic drop in Greater Victoria real estate sales in May

Dramatic drop in Greater Victoria real estate sales in May
WatchThe Greater Victoria real estate market is taking a big hit because of COVID-19 but there's also some good news. Tess van Straaten reports.

There aren’t as many for sale signs up and far fewer properties are selling, as the Greater Victoria real estate market sees the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our real estate market is responding to the health crisis,” says Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) president Sandi-Jo Ayers. “For the month of May, that was a very tough month and April was as well.”

May saw a dramatic drop in the number of sales, down a whopping 46 per cent from last May, with just 457 properties selling.

“It’s surprising it’s only 46 per cent,” says Tony Joe of RE/MAX Camosun. “That sounds strange but when you think about it, we were a 58 per cent reduction in the month of April and I think many people sort of wondered if real estate would go to zero or close to zero.”

Inventory was down 15.7 per cent compared to last May, but that had prices holding steady.

Condo prices only dipped 3.7 per cent, with an average price of just over $453,000.

Single-family home prices were actually up 2.3 per cent to almost $876,000.

“The other surprising thing too is we’re seeing cases of multiple offers or bidding wars out there, which you would never expect in a time like this,” says Joe.

With restrictions easing in the last two weeks, agents say viewing requests are increasing and they’re actually getting lots of interest from Lower Mainland and Toronto buyers.

“We really are trying to be optimistic,” Ayers says. “We see we have a lot of people that want to move here, they want to sell, they want to buy and realtors on the street are talking about how busy they are getting.”

If you’re buying or selling, it will look different in phase three, with more virtual open houses, online tours, and masks and gloves for in-person showings, as well as minimizing the surfaces that are touched as real estate tries to rebound.

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Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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