Anny Schaefer

Whatever your natural habitat may be

Stiffer mortgage qualification rules that started January 1st (AKA stress-testing) have significantly cooled real estate markets across Canada. The Victoria real estate market is coming off of a long period of being an extreme sellers' market. The combined effect of fewer sales (demand) and more listings (supply) is a less pronounced but nonetheless still overall sellers` market. A sales to active listings ratio of more than 20% is considered a sellers’ market and the current ratio is about 30%. It’s considerably lower than it’s been for the past two years but indicates there is still upward pressure on prices.


January-July 2018 sales lower than same period in 2017

  • Total property sales in Victoria during January to July (the first 7 months of 2018) stood at 4,552 units. This is 21% lower than in the same period of 2017.

  • Total Sales Dollars declined 12% to $3,220,754,100.
  • Listings during the same period dropped by 1%, to 7,962.
  • Days To Sell for all property types increased 4%, from 35 to 36.
  • The number of Active Listings increased 36% from 1,921 July 31, 2017 to 2,607 July 31, 2018.
At the end of July:
  • 651 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region in July, 17.6% fewer than the 790 sold in July of last year.
  • July sales were down 8.1% from June 2018.
  • Condo sales (188 units) were 22.6% lower than in July 2017.
  • Single Family Detached (SFD) home sales (340) were 16.5% lower than July 2017.
  • Listings stood at 2,607 on July 31—up 35.7% from the end of July 2017.

Prices still trending up

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) benchmark attempts to compare “apples to apples” by looking at typical attributes, so it is not affected by differences in size, age and location of sold properties and other factors resulting in extremely high or low prices—all of which affect average or median prices. If this seems a bit confusing, you’re not alone! I’m happy to talk it over with my clients.


  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) benchmark for:
    • a single family detached (SFD) home in the Victoria Core was $880,000 in July 2018, up 5.5% from $834,200 in July 2017 but, significantly, down 1.1% from the previous month, June 2018 ($889,600).
    • a SFD home in Greater Victoria was $741,000, up 5.7% from $700,800 in July 2017.
    • a condo in Greater Victoria was $485,200, up 12% over July 2017.
    • a townhome in Greater Victoria was $586,100, up 8.1% over July 2017.
  • In contrast,
    • the average price for SFD homes sold in Greater Victoria in July 2018 was $929,543 (7.1% higher than a year earlier) and the median price was $800,000 (+5.4%).
    • the average price for condos in July was $472,473 (17.5 higher than a year earlier) and the median price was $415,000 (+12.8%).
    • the average price for townhomes in July was $552,027 (+9.0%) and the median price was $522,000 (+10.5%).

The HPI is also useful for looking at trends over time in particular neighbourhoods or for specific types of property. As shown below, the most recent run-up in prices began approximately January 2016 and has been significant for SFDs, condos, and townhouses. While none of us can tell the future, if this runup is similar to what occurred from about January 2005 to May 2008 (around the Great Recession/financial crisis), it’s conceivable that prices could continue to increase for awhile and/or correct to some extent, then more or less recover, plateau, and fluctuate for an extended period of time. As always in real estate, it pays to take the long view and hold on to your properties for as long as feasible.



Teranet Price Index


Another way to look at price changes is through the Teranet–National Bank House Price Index™. Described on housepriceindex.ca as “an independent representation of the rate of change of Canadian single-family home prices” which is based on ”sales pairs” as recorded in public land title registries. It is a robust method of checking on the validity of other prices indicators such as HPI. It includes indexes for 11 Canadian metropolitan area (Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec, and Halifax) and one overall composite for the country.


The Victoria Teranet Index is currently at its highest point ever. Twelve-month (year over year) change is still in positive territory, but slowing down from the very large increases of March 2016 to June 2017.


If you'd like to talk about buying or selling, I offer specific and detailed market information to my clients.

Read full post

Aretha Franklin's been on my mind a lot lately. You didn't have to grow up in the Southern U.S. like I did to be enthralled by the late Queen of Soul. Her unforgettable song "Respect" is the inspiration for my latest thoughts on my real estate business, here.


Read full post

Back in 2015, Maclean's put together a fun piece on what you could buy (single family detached or half-duplex) across the country, closest to downtown, for the average price Canada-wide at the time of $448,862.


The updated Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) overall average resale home price for June 2018 is:

$495,797 !


Averages like these are pretty meaningless. When it comes to getting meaning out of stats, the key is--disaggregate, disaggregate, disaggregate!


Just for fun, though, here's what's on the market right now close to downtown Victoria for $495-500K: 8 condos and 1 townhouse. Let me know if you'd like to see these or any others!


Read full post


Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Stuart Logan and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

In a tight market like this, both sellers and buyers can use some extra hand-holding. If you're ready to buy or sell in Victoria, contact me for personalized support as you navigate the buying or selling process.

 

The month-to-date market statistics are in and as of May 24, 2016, sales in Victoria are higher than last year.--979 compared to 905 this time last year. Adding to the tight market, there are currently only 2,431 listings compared to 4,043 this time last year (which also seemed low). Furthermore, there have been only 1,082 new listings so far this month compared to 1,485 last year.

 

©VREB

 

Read full post

If you're following the Victoria real estate market at all, you've probably already heard that half again as many homes were sold in March 2016 as in March 2015---1,121 properties compared to 734. And that inventory remains low. Have a gander at this somewhat alarming graph from the Victoria Real Estate Board:

 

It's a classic Sellers' Market in some areas--especially near the downtown core and in most areas of the Saanich Peninsula. Many homes are selling within a few days (or occasionally even 0--that's "zero" days) of being placed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) system. There are frequently multiple offers, often resulting in a sale price that's a lot higher than asking price. 

 

Buyers take heart, though! The "inventory level" is a static snapshot number taken at month-end. All those houses people are buying are coming from somewhere. This graph shows the NEW listings alongside sales, and what's particularly interesting is comparing the new listings in March of 2016 (with its very high number of sales!) to the new listings in March of 2015 and March of 2014. Last month, there were 1,335 new residential listings, compared to 1,324 in March of last year and 1,155 in March of 2014. These can be thought of as the "flow" of houses INTO the market while the line representing sales is the flow OUT of the market. 

What this means for you if you're a Seller is that it's a great time to sell your home, if you can (but you already knew that). What it means for you if you're a Buyer is that it IS possible to buy a home even in this market. As your REALTOR®, I can help you with time-honoured strategies that will give you a better shot at getting the home you want. Call today!

Data and charts courtesy of Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service ®
Read full post

The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society is one of the city's organizations that I'm most fond of. Consider attending an upcoming event--rice pounding party anyone? Or perhaps seaweed harvesting or cherry blossom viewing is more your speed. Taiko drumming and traditional Japanese dancing are often on display.

If you like what you see and hear and taste, you can take out a membership and support their great work celebrating and honouring Japanese and Japanese-Canadian culture.

Some information follows. If you'd like a membership form, ask me or check their website!


Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society (VNCS)

The VNCS was formed in 1993 specifically to establish a sense of community for those of Japanese heritage and/or those interested in Japanese culture.


As stated in our constitution the purpose of our society is to:

a) Promote the awareness of Japanese culture for the benefit of its members and the greater community;
b) Represent the Japanese community to the greater community;
c) Support related Japanese organizations; and
d) Identify and serve the needs of the Nikkei community.


Throughout the year the VNCS organizes social events for its members, often with a theme related to a Japanese holiday or special occasion. Our promotion of Japanese culture is not only for our members but is also open to the greater community. Our annual Fall Bazaar and Mochi parties are examples of our outreach efforts. Where appropriate the VNCS will act as a spokes-organization for the Nikkei community. We work with other similar cultural/ethnic-minded organizations such as the Victoria Japanese Friendship Society to promote Japanese culture.
The VNCS is registered under the BC Society Act and has charitable status. We are a member organization of the Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria and the National Association of Japanese Canadians.

Read full post

Inner Harbour Sunset

Victoria Real Estate Market Remains Strong All Summer

Another month with the same message: Sales up, inventories down. Call today if you want to list your home! 


September 1, 2015, Victoria BC - The Victoria Real Estate Board today released its report on real estate activity for August 2015. A total of 741 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this August, an increase of 21.7% compared to the 609 properties sold in the same month last year.

 

"Consumer confidence in our area continues to be one of the main drivers of the spring and summer market surge," Victoria Real Estate Board President Guy Crozier says. "In terms of single family home sales, this month we saw the highest number sold in the month of August since 2007. A total of 379 single family homes sold in August 2015, compared to 399 in August 2007."

 

There were 3,688 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of August, 14.6% fewer than the 4,316 active listings in August 2014.

 

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core last year in August was $556,600. The benchmark value for the same home in August 2015 has increased by 8.37% to $603,200.

 

"The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation announced new rules for buyers who have less than a 20 per cent deposit," notes President Crozier. "Starting at the end of September, buyers who apply for mortgage loan insurance from CMHC will be able to include 100 per cent of the projected income from secondary suites. A change like this may buoy the market through the fall and winter, and we may see increased pressure on areas that permit suites. We'll watch over the upcoming months and track any trickledown activity."

 

More information on the August 2015 report and the Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index is available from the Victoria Real Estate Board, at vreb.org.

 

About VREB - Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs to enhance the professionalism of REALTORS®. The Victoria Real Estate Board represents over 1,200 local REALTORS®. 

Read full post

Victoria house prices are edging up, but still remain reasonable, not stratospheric. According to the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price Index™ Victoria's average house price increased by 5.65% between June of 2014 and last month. That's close to the countrywide average of 5.1%, but much lower than Vancouver (8.5%) and Toronto (7.8%). June prices were 2.63% higher than in May, and have gone up 4.13% since the beginning of the year. As you can see from the chart below, prices still aren't as high as their mid-2010 or mid-2011 levels. Still, they're inching up. Time will tell if this is the start of an upward trend.


Contact me if you'd like a current market analysis on your home or any neighbourhood of interest!

 

 

Read full post

I recently had the joyful experience of working with Leah Wickes, Artistic Director and Instructor of Whitespace Dance, and her wonderful family to sell their existing home and purchase a new one...then we made a donation to vibrant Dance Victoria.


Contact me if you'd like to support this great organization as you buy or sell a home here in Victoria.


Shown below: Anny Schaefer of Anny Schaefer; Stephen White, Executive Producer of Dance Victoria; Leah Wickes of Whitespace Dance with her son.







Read full post

 

Summer has arrived, perhaps a bit early this year, and we're lucky enough to be experiencing Victoria's temperate "dry season". Many people are surprised to find out that southern Vancouver Island usually has at least a six-week drought each summer, with only the occasional rain shower. Some of us who grew up back east, on the prairies or--like me--in the southern United States, still can't quite get used to the very enjoyable lower heat and humidity and cool evenings that are normal for much of July to September. We may also miss those refreshing and dramatic afternoon thunderstorms ... but, you can't have everything!


Our grass actually has its dormant period in the summer instead of the winter, so many people choose not to water their lawns and just accept a short period of brown grass. For those who want to keep the lush green look, the Capital Regional District's Stage 1 watering schedule is now in effect. Basically that means that lawn watering is allowed from 4-10 am and 7-10 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays for even-numbered street addresses and on Thursdays and Sundays for odd-numbered addresses.


Stage 1 also allows the following:

  • Established trees, shrubs, vegetable and flower gardens may be watered by hand using a hose with a shut-off device or with a hand-held container, or a micro/drip irrigation system, on any day at any time.
  • Established trees, shrubs, vegetable and flower gardens may be watered with a sprinkler on any day, but only during the hours of 4:00 am to 10:00 am and 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
  • A person who has installed a new lawn, either newly seeded or new sod, may apply to the Capital Regional District for a Permit, which will allow the new lawn to be sprinkled with water outside of permitted days, but within restricted hours (Seed 49 days, Sod 21 days).
Read full post

The stats are in for March 2015 real estate activity in Victoria, BC and confirm what we all thought--that it's a very active market and listings are in short supply.


The Victoria Real Estate Board just released data showing:

  • Property sales were up 27.7% over March 2014
  • That includes sales of 393 single family detached homes (SFD)--the highest March numbers since 2010 (414)
  • Active listings: 3,679. That's 6.9% lower than March 2014!
  • The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index (HPI) for a SFD home in the Victoria Core rose to $569,700 from $560,500 in March of last year.
  • We're now inching into Sellers Market territory, where the Sales to Active Listings Ratio is nearing 25% overall.
It's a great time to sell because of high demand and low inventories.

It's still a great time to buy because of low interest rates. You need to be prepared to pounce quickly when you find a place that meets your needs. Multiple offer situations are becoming more common.

DAYS TO SELL figures have dropped for the following types of property.
  • SFD has dropped to 51 from 62 (-18%)
  • Condo has dropped to 64 from 78 (-18%)
  • Strata Duplex (Side by Side) has dropped to 38 from 64 (-41%)
Contact me soon if you're thinking of buying or selling in the Victoria area! I work hard to get the best outcomes for my sellers and buyers in a challenging market.
--------------------------------

Here's the official release from the VREB:

Victoria Real Estate Market

Another Busy Month for the Victoria Real Estate Market

April 1, 2015, Victoria BC - The Victoria Real Estate Board today released its report on real estate activity in the Victoria area for March 2015. A total of 734 properties sold in the Victoria region this March, a 27.7% increase compared to the 575 properties sold in the same month last year.

"We saw 393 single family homes in the region sell in the month of March. The last time we saw numbers this high in March was in 2010 when 414 single family homes sold," Victoria Real Estate Board President Guy Crozier says. "And though we see sales numbers have increased compared to last year, we see fewer active listings for sale compared to last year."

There were 3,769 active listings for sale on the Multiple Listing Service(r) at the end of March, 6.9% fewer than the 4,050 active listings in March 2014.

The Multiple Listing Service(r) Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core this time last year was $560,500. The benchmark value for the same home this month has increased by 1.64% to $569,700.

"Why the increase in activity? We expect the market to be busy in the spring - real estate has a seasonal trend. Interesting this year was that the momentum we saw in the market over the course of 2014 has continued to increase," President Crozier adds. "Consumer confidence in local real estate appears to be high, and it's likely that buyers are taking advantage of low interest rates."

Victoria Real Estate Board President Guy Crozier is available for comment. More information on the March 2015 report and the Multiple Listing Service(r) Home Price Index is available from the Victoria Real Estate Board, vreb.org.

About VREB - Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs to enhance the professionalism of REALTORS(r). The Victoria Real Estate Board represents approximately 1,200 local REALTORS(r).

View our press release and summary here.
View our complete statistical package here.

Notes for Interpreting Our Statistics

The use of sale price statistics can be useful in establishing trends when applied over a period of time, i.e. six months or longer. The Victoria Real Estate Board cautions, however, that such information does not indicate the actual value of any particular property. Those requiring specific information on property values should contact a REALTOR®.

The documents we link to on this page are stored in PDF format. If your browser already has a PDF plug-in like the Adobe Reader, you'll probably be able to simply click on the document you're interested in to view it here online. If not, you can download and install this popular, free software.

Courtesy of the Victoria Real Estate Board


 

Read full post

 

House prices in Victoria rose by 0.5% in February compared to January. Victoria is one of only a few cities in Canada that saw a rise in the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price Index™ last month. The only other 2 markets that increased were Vancouver (+1.5%) Hamilton (+0.3%), while the other 8 metropolitan markets Teranet tracks declined month over month, leading their analysts to conclude: "In some markets there have clearly been corrections in progress." Victoria isn't one of those!

 

On an annual basis, Victoria saw house prices rise almost 4% over February 2014.

 

"BC Parliament Buildings" by Sébastien Launay is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Read full post

Did you know that, when you buy half of a duplex in British Columbia you're almost always buying into a strata? Or that a detached house can be part of a strata? If you already own a condo or other strata property, or are thinking of buying or selling a strata property, be sure to have a look at the Government of BC's new strata housing website. 

 
An especially handy link is "Find it Fast": www.gov.bc.ca/strata/finditfast 


The site also includes sections on:

  • Understanding Stratas
  • Operating a Strata
  • Resolving Disputes
  • Buying and Selling Strata
  • Renting in Stratas
  • Changes to Legislation
  • More Help and Support
  • Government's Role 

And if you have any other questions, remember--I'm here to help!

Read full post

If you've been thinking of selling your home, now

could be a great time to list. 


The stats are out for Victoria home sales in February 2015, and they show that residential sales were up by nearly one-third (+31.8%) over the previous February. Add to the mix that listings are down by nearly 8% from last year, and you can see why there could start to be some upward pressure on prices.


The HPI Benchmark Price for a Single Family Detached (SFD) home in the Victoria core sits at $557,000, up 1.3% from Feb. 2014. Similarly, the Condo benchmark price in Greater Victoria now stands at $289,200, which is 4.4% more than last year.


Call me if you'd like to talk about listing your home, or if you'd simply like more info about the Victoria real estate market!


 


Read full post

Read about the latest real estate stats, the buying process, drainage systems, things you can do with this website and more in my Fall newsletter.


 

Just complete this form and mention "Fall Newsletter" in the Comment/Question section. If you want a hard copy mailed to you, please include your full address and postal code in the Comment/Question section and I'll be happy to send you one.

 

Read full post

VREB Newsletter

Victoria Real Estate Market's Summer Season Surpasses Expectations

September 2, 2014

Victoria BC - The Victoria Real Estate Board today released its report on real estate activity in the Victoria area for August 2014.

 

  • 609 properties sold in the region in the month of August 2014 - an increase of over 12% compared to the 540 properties sold last year in August.
  • 2014 shows a 10.5% increase in year-to-date sales compared to last year.

"When July numbers came in higher than we expected based on the past five years of sales activity, I think a lot of people were surprised." Victoria Real Estate Board President Tim Ayres says. "But sure enough, the market outperformed last year's sales again in August and we've had the busiest August we've seen in five years."

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core this time last year was $486,900 - this month tracks an increase of just under 1%, which brings the benchmark value up to $491,500. Condominiums and townhouses in Greater Victoria each show a 2.5% increase in value over last year.

"We've seen balanced market conditions for 6 months now," adds President Ayres, "This means we're not in a buyer's or a seller's market, but in an extended term of stable prices due to the ratio of available property for sale to the amount of sales. It's a great place for sellers and buyers."

 

Victoria Real Estate Board President Tim Ayres is available for comment. More information on the August 2014 report and the MLS® HPI is available from the Victoria Real Estate Board.

 

About VREB - Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs that enhance the professionalism and community standing of REALTORS®. The Victoria Real Estate Board represents more than 1,200 local REALTORS®.

View our press release and summary here.

View our complete statistical package here.

Notes for Interpreting Our Statistics

The use of sale price statistics can be useful in establishing trends when applied over a period of time, i.e. six months or longer. The Victoria Real Estate Board cautions, however, that such information does not indicate the actual value of any particular property. Those requiring specific information on property values should contact a REALTOR®.

 

The documents we link to on this page are stored in PDF format. If your browser already has a PDF plug-in like the Adobe Reader, you'll probably be able to simply click on the document you're interested in to view it here online. If not, you can download and install this popular, free software by clicking here.

 

Courtesy of the Victoria Real Estate Board

Read full post

Black-tailed deer are common in the city of Victoria, BC, especially in people's gardens, eating yummy roses and other delicacies. Not so common to see them on the beach, though, like this pair. The male, with his one antler, looks particularly urban and hip, don't you think? This is on Ross Bay, just south of historic Ross Bay Cemetery, along Dallas Road.

 

Read full post