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Victoria's March real-estate market delivered house sales at a $1.29M average, while property listings rose 35% over last year

Downtown Victoria's condominium market has had a tough go in recent months, as an upcoming Provincial AirBnB ban has led to a number of formerly transient-zoned-then-grandfathered vacation rental properties hitting the market simultaneously, while street issues persist and depress demand for downtown units, and as investor buyers remain coy due to costs and social problems.  Citified.ca

Victoria's March real-estate market delivered house sales at a $1.29M average, while property listings rose 35% over last year
Mike Kozakowski, Citified.ca
588 properties changed hands throughout March in Greater Victoria as a kick-off to the spring sales season, according to the latest real-estate market update from the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB).
 
286 single-family homes sold via the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) between Sooke and Sidney at an average price of $1,293,840, representing both a rise in sales over March of 2023 (when 281 homes sold) and a jump in value, from $1,225,446. The median this March was $1,132,500 compared to $1,080,000 last year. March’s average is the highest since $1.34 million in September of 2023.
 
The sale of condominiums, however, dipped this March to 177 units sold through the MLS, a drop of 20 sales compared to March of 2023. The average price also dropped, albeit ever so slightly, to $628,092 from $628,230 a year ago, as did the median, to $555,000 from $569,500. Like single-family homes, the condominium average price in March was the highest since last September (when it reached $652,605).
 
Victoria realtor Marko Juras (see website) says the number of condominium sales remains depressed due to a lull in demand for downtown Victoria inventory, which has historically been the strongest condominium market in the Capital Region.
 
“The downtown core has a number of factors working against it currently,” Juras says. “One key issue is the AirBnB ban which has resulted in a higher volume of re-sale units hitting the market all at once and limited demand for those units. Another is the general state of the downtown core, be it issues with homelessness or crime. Then there’s the investor factor, which has all but disappeared from the downtown core due to high costs at today’s interest rates.”
 
The townhome segment, meanwhile, hit an average purchase price of $822,049 across 78 sales, the strongest showing in terms of purchases since June of 2023, and priced firmly above last March’s 67 sales when the average price paid reached $774,710. The medians were $790,000 this year and $750,000 last year. March represented a dip in average prices compared to February’s $848,059.
 
New MLS listings, according to the VREB, rose this year compared to last, with 1,310 units added to the market, compared to 1,118 one-year-ago (an increase of 17%). Total active MLS listings numbered substantially higher in March of this year at 2,647, compared to last year’s 1,970, a nearly 35% uplift. This year’s available inventory represents a nine-year high, Juras says, but that still remains far below inventory from 2007 through 2015.
 
“Today’s 2,647 active units may seem like a high figure, and it is relative to nearly a decade of market activity, but we do have to put that number in perspective, when over 4,000 units were on the re-sale market in 2011 through 2014, and there are currently fewer units than what we saw between 2007 and 2015.”
 
Single-family, condominium and townhome sales, together with manufactured homes and commercial properties, totalled 588 transactions in March, a total literally in line with last year, when 590 sales were recorded via MLS throughout the month, VREB data shows.
 
The general market sentiment, Juras notes, is one of a relatively balanced environment with few distressed sellers pushing prices down, and desirable properties still fetching high price points.
 
“We have buyers on the sidelines awaiting lower interest rates, absolutely. But at the same time, we also have strong demand for Victoria real-estate. What this means, is even though sales are slower than what we’d expect, the prices are stable and until rates adjust one way or the other, we can expect much of the same into the spring buying season.” C
 
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