‘It’s a cut-throat market’: Greater Victoria single-family homes selling for way over asking

'It's a cut-throat market': Greater Victoria single-family homes selling for way over asking
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WatchMore than half of the single family homes sold across Greater Victoria are going above the listing price, as the market stays burning hot.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Greater Victoria’s housing market remains extremely hot.

According to new data from the Victoria Real Estate Board, more than half of the single-family homes sold in the Greater Victoria region in the past 90 days are going above the asking price.

“For single-family homes in the last 90 days, approximately 60-65 per cent of homes sold have sold over listing,” said VREB president David Langlois. “We are seeing regular sales over asking price.”

It’s a new layer to the regions burning hot market.

“It’s a very competitive market right now, it’s a cut throat market,” said Saira Waters of the Modern Real Estate Team. “I’ve seen things at asking, slightly over and up to $300,000 to $400,000 over.”

Some examples include a home on Transit Road in Oak Bay, which sold for $1.71 million, $110,000 over asking. Another nearby on Cowichan Street in Victoria sold for more than $200,000 over asking while a home on Normanton Court sold for almost $400,000 over asking.

Relators say things like lowering the price to spur interest and preemptive offers, known as bully bids, are forcing prices up. They say it’s hurting those who need time to make the decision and those who aren’t flush with cash.

“There’s going to be a number of people who think they can afford it. They will offer, and there will always be [an offer] significantly higher,” said Waters.

Waters also say critical steps like inspections and even visiting the home are starting to be skipped.

“Clients who go in unconditional, they have to understand the risks of what they are doing, we always advise to do their do diligence … it [all] leaves a bad taste in people mouths and it’s frustrating for the buyers,” she said.

Experts say house prices are rapidly rising right across Canada, and that the market is being driven by record low-interest rates and the pandemic.

“Saskatoon has come up … I think we have heard about the roll over in Halifax,” said Andy Yan, director of The City Program at Simon Fraser University.

“I think it this all culminates to really the kind of national level effect these types of interest rates and yet, and these types of motivations to look for bigger places for this certain population that has driven the residential real estate market.”

Experts agree until the supply issue is dealt with, demand will continue to make homes across Victoria and beyond more and more expensive.

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Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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