Victoria real estate down and expected to drop due to COVID-19

Victoria real estate down and expected to drop due to COVID-19

Real estate in Victoria slowed down in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic according to the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB).

Last month in March, a total of 608 properties sold in Victoria, five percent fewer than the 640 sold during the same time last year.

The city did see however an eight per cent increase in sales from the month before in February.

Sales of condominiums were down 9.2 per cent from March 2019, with 178 units sold and single-family home sales decreased 5.3 per cent from March 2019 with 305 sold.

Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers said at the beginning of March, spring had officially sprung with multiple offers, new listings and sales.

“And then the world changed. Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, we have tracked a predictable downturn of sales in our market,” said Ayers.

“Moving forward it is hard to predict what our spring market will look like, but it will likely be very different than recent years as our entire community slows down to stay healthy.”

Compared to last year, the VREB saw a 7.5 per cent decrease in listings, with 2,252 active listings, but still saw an increase from the previous month of approximately 5.9 per cent.

“Right now, it is not business as usual,” adds Ayers. “Our industry is working with government stakeholders to make sure that transactions that were underway before the pandemic was declared are protected and that homeowners are able to complete sales and purchases.”

Many realtors are using new technologies to help their clients, including video home tours and virtual showings.

The Multiple Listing Service Home Price Index benchmarks the average value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March at $877, 700, fice per cent more than last year’s $836,100 for the same home.

This new number increased slightly from this February’s $868,100 estimate by 1.1 per cent.

For condos, the average price in the same area was $531,900, an increase of 4.8 per compared to March 2019, when the average was $507,700.

March’s numbers for condos increased by 0.9 per cent since February of this year, when the average condo went for $527,400.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says all real estate showings should be one-on-ones, and the rules of social distancing must be followed.

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Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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