November 1, 2013
VICTORIA BC - Greater Victoria continued to experience strong home sales during the month of October, reports the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB). According to the Board's MLS® System, 512 properties sold compared to 373 in October 2012, an increase of 37.27 per cent. There were 4,322 active listings.
"While we are all very pleased with the October results, we are tempering our enthusiasm," says Shelley Mann, Board President. "After a slow market for the last half of 2012, we are still climbing back to previous annual sales numbers."
Today, the VREB and joins the Canadian Real Estate Association and ten major real estate markets in Canada by adopting a new approach to the reporting of trends in residential property prices. Instead of relying on average and median sale prices which are subject to fluctuation, the Board moved to a new system called the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI). The methodology used by MLS® HPI has been endorsed by Statistics Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Bank of Canada, Finance Canada and Central 1 Credit Union.
At the heart of the MLS® HPI is the concept of the "benchmark" home, a notional home comprising the most common attributes of typical homes in a given area. Through the analysis of ten years of VREB MLS® sales data, MLS® HPI has defined benchmark homes for Greater Victoria as a whole as well as for each of our regions, districts and neighbourhoods. In each of these areas, MLS® HPI has defined a benchmark home for each category: single family homes, townhouses and condo apartments. Each month, VREB MLS® sales data will be fed into the MLS® HPI to calculate and track changes in the prices of our benchmark homes.
Benchmark prices are generally lower than corresponding medians and averages. MLS® HPI estimates the values of our typical homes, whereas medians and averages merely reflect the overall selling prices of the particular mix of homes that sold in a given month.
In a manner similar to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), MLS® HPI maintains a running index of the percentage change in benchmark prices. Like the CPI, the MLS® HPI assigns an index value of 100 to the benchmark prices at its starting point: January 2005. By tracking both benchmark prices and index values each month, MLS® HPI will provide a much clearer picture of real estate market trends in Greater Victoria.
"Past reporting of averages and medians showed flat pricing across the Board's trading area but MLS® HPI indicates a moderate decline in prices in many markets over the last year," Mann says. "Benchmark prices are flat month-over-month, and we will be watching very carefully to see where pricing goes.
"With average and median prices, it was often difficult to gauge whether prices of typical homes were rising or falling, but the HPI provides us with exactly this type of information," she says.
For October 2013, the benchmark price for the Greater Victoria single family benchmark home was $485,400 and its corresponding MLS® HPI index value was 137.2. (This represents a 37.2 per cent increase since January 2005, when the index was 100). This benchmark price increased 0.15 per cent over the past month and decreased 3.18 per cent over the last year.
At the regional level, the benchmark price for the single family benchmark home in the Core municipalities was $547,800, a decrease of 0.56 per cent over the previous month and a 2.66 per cent decrease over October 2012. In Westshore, the benchmark price for the single family benchmark home was $410,600, a decrease of 0.37 per cent over September 2013 and 4.37 per cent decrease over October 2012. The benchmark price for the single family benchmark home on the Peninsula was $508,700 for September, an increase of 1.22 per cent over the previous month and a 3.56 per cent decrease year-over-year.
There were a total of 274 single family homes sold in September, an increase of 29 per cent over September 2012. September also saw the reporting of 126 condominium sales and 51 townhouse sales in Greater Victoria. Benchmark prices for the Greater Victoria condominium benchmark home and for the Greater Victoria townhouse benchmark home for September $283,100 and $393,100 respectively.
Total Waterfront Single Family Dwellings sold: 17, up 2 over October 2012
Total Non-waterfront Single Family Dwellings sold: 257, up 62 over October 2012
Single Family Dwellings sold over $1 million: 16 (1 over $2 million)
For more information on MLS®HPI benchmark prices and index values for September, visit www.vreb.org. Those requiring specific information on property values in their area should contact a REALTOR®. The Victoria Real Estate Board has 1,224 Members.