December 3, 2012
VICTORIA BC- While the number of single-family home sales has held relatively steady over the last three months, Greater Victoria REALTORS® are noting a year-over-year decrease that coincided with tighter mortgage regulations imposed in July of this year. Amortization periods were reduced to 25 years for high-ratio buyers - those with less than 20% down payments.
"The change from a 30- to 25-year amortization can result in an additional $150 to $200 on the monthly mortgage payment, which is impacting many first-time homebuyers and limiting the number entering the market," says Carol Crabb, President of the Victoria Real Estate Board.
Crabb also notes that the median price for a single-family home in Victoria remains relatively flat, increasing 1% over November 2011. "Sales may have slowed, but the median price of single-family homes has not decreased. Condominiums, the primary option for those first-time buyers, have a decreased median price of 10%."
Total MLS® sales for November 2012 were 366 compared to 373 the previous month; 202 single-family homes sold throughout the Victoria Real Estate Board's region, compared to 293 in November 2011. The median price for single family homes was $540,000, up 1% from last November's median of $536,500. The average price for the same period is up $48,373 (8%), but this is influenced by two sales over $2 million and one sale over $5 million. Month-over-month, the six-month average for single-family homes is flat.
"We are now moving into the slower winter season. Both Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) and Cameron Muir, Chief Economist of BC Real Estate Association, predict the next few months will mirror October and November, followed by slow growth for the balance of 2013," Crabb says. BC and Greater Victoria continue to experience strong full-time employment growth, an expanding population and low mortgage rates.
"For buyers, there is a good supply of homes on the market, so while they have time to conduct due diligence they shouldn't expect large reductions on all properties. We are still seeing quick sales and the occasional bidding war on homes that are priced well.
"Sellers have a lot of competition, so curb appeal, how the house shows and competitive pricing are key to moving from 'For Sale' to 'Sold'," Crabb says.
Condominium sales remain stable with 98 in November 2012, compared to 92 in October 2012 and 104 in November 2011, although the year-over-year median price has declined 10%. Townhome sales declined 38% in 12 months, while pricing remains flat.
Total Waterfront Single Family Dwellings sold: 6, down 4 from November 2011
Total Non-waterfront Single Family Dwellings sold: 196, down 97 sales from November 2011
Single Family Dwellings sold over $1 million: 17 (2 over $2 million, 1 over $5 million)
*Negative result reflects a collapsed sale of $1,545,000 reported as complete in September 2012.
Total Single Family All Areas includes Shawnigan Lake/Malahat, Gulf Islands and Up Island
Summary Report and Graphs