January home sales continue downward trend in Greater Victoria, VREB says

January home sales continue downward trend in Greater Victoria, VREB says

File photo.

File photo.

Properties sold in the first month of 2019 were 23.7 per cent fewer than in January 2018, continuing cool conditions in the market.

According to January figures from the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB), the 329 sales were also down compared to December by 12.3 per cent.

The VREB says the average price of a single-family home in Greater Victoria dropped 5.1 per cent compared to December to $851,117, which is also eight per cent lower than the January 2018 average of $925,715.

The decline of single-family homes sales more than offsets increases in condo and townhouse sales from December.

Condominium sales in Greater Victoria were up 7.8 per cent, and the average price dropped 11.6 per cent from the month before to $418,024.

Townhouse sales saw a 2.8 per cent climb month-over-month, with the average price of $595,560 a 12 per cent decrease when in comparison to the average December cost.

The VREB says there are many reasons consumers are hesitant to purchase.

“For instance, changes to mortgage lending rules have decreased the amount of funds buyers can qualify for by up to twenty-five per cent,” VREB President Cheryl Woolley said in a release.

“In turn, some consumers are re-evaluating their expectations and looking at condos and townhomes rather than single-family homes; or they are looking at single family homes further outside the core.”

Woolley said buyers appear to be waiting for new inventory to open up, while sellers are watching the market to see what their homes are worth in anticipation for the Spring market.

The VREB says the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Victoria core went up 0.9 per cent year-over-year in January to $847,800, but lower than December’s value of $856,600.

The benchmark price for a condominium in Victoria core area dipped slightly from December but is up six per cent to $499,700 from a year earlier.


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