Victoria housing market continues to adapt to long-term lack of supply
September 1, 2021 A total of 831 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this August, 15.1 per cent fewer than the 979 properties sold in August 2020 and 0.5 per cent fewer than the previous month of July. Condominium sales were up 31.7 per cent from August 2020 with 345 units sold. 21.5 per cent more condominiums sold in August 2021 than in the previous month of July. Sales of single family homes were down 29.9 per cent from August 2020 with 357 sold. 9.8 per cent fewer single family homes sold in August 2021 than in the previous month of July.
“Year over year numbers might indicate a slowing of our market, but there are two important factors to consider,” said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. “The first is that our market is starved for inventory. It should come as no surprise that with half the available inventory of last August we sold fewer homes this August. Without the significant lack of inventory we’re experiencing, sales would most certainly have been comparable to, if not greater than, last August. The second factor is that the previous ten-year running average for sales in the month of August is 675 properties, so with 831 properties changing hands this August, it is clear that our market remains very robust and that lack of supply is the biggest issue impacting attainability for our community.”
There were 1,120 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of August 2021, 56.7 per cent fewer properties than the 2,584 available at the end of August 2020 and 11.8 per cent fewer than the 1,270 active listings for sale at the end of July 2021.
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in August 2020 was $889,800. The benchmark value for the same home in August 2021 increased by 22.4 per cent to $1,089,400, a 0.7 per cent increase from the previous month of July. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in August 2020 was $483,400, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in August 2021 was $540,600, an 11.8 per cent increase.
“The federal election will focus on each party’s proposed policies and programs for housing,” added Langlois. “The primary issue for housing attainability has been and remains one of supply. While increasing a consumer’s ability to pay through tax free savings accounts, extended mortgage terms, or altering stress test provisions may assist some buyers to obtain housing, it will do nothing to slow the price appreciation that the systemic lack of housing supply continues to fuel. Specific commitments such as incentivising municipalities with infrastructure grants for density improvements, increasing on-campus housing, supporting co-op and leasehold developments and utilizing surplus federal lands to directly add to housing stock can all provide a path to more supply. Debates about bidding processes and foreign buyers do not offer material solutions to improve supply nor the attainability of housing. The municipal, provincial and federal governments’ failure to support real growth and diversity in housing stocks has created the market conditions we find ourselves in today. Housing policy matters and we hope that all voters consider what each party proposes and the potential impact to our market.”
About the Victoria Real Estate Board – 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 1,456 local Realtors. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, connect with your local Realtor for detailed information on the Victoria and area housing market.