Condos edged higher, houses nudged lower in November as Victoria real-estate settled into winter slow-down
Mike Kozakowski, Citified.ca
Published December 1, 2022
The price of condominiums edged slightly higher in November while single-family-homes nudged slightly lower, according to the latest data from the Victoria Real-Estate Board (VREB).
The average price paid for a house in the Capital landed at $1,169,441 between 182 sales via the Multiple Listings Service (MLS), while the median price settled below $1 million for the first time since February of 2021, finishing the month at $999,900. October saw an average of $1,226,455 and a $1,052,000 median.
“November's home purchases focused on the lower end of the market, and that gave way to a lower average than we saw in October, and a median that slipped below a million dollars, just barely, but overall we are seeing a flat-lining of prices as we move into winter,” said Marko Juras, a Victoria-based realtor, adding that "we are also in a peculiar situation, where strong demand for homes is still there, but the rising cost of borrowing is precluding greater numbers of buyers from making deals and the stress test is eroding buying power even further."
The high prices of single-family homes has pushed interest onto the condominium side of the market, yielding 136 sales between Sooke and Sidney at an average of $619,653 and a median of $541,000, higher than October’s average and median of $614,769 and $539,500 (respectively). November’s activity also outpaced July’s and August’s averages for the segment.
Townhomes, with 37 sales for the month, averaged $802,912 with a $737,450 median. October saw $823,515 for the average and $755,000 for the median.
Collectively, 384 properties were exchanged via MLS in November, including commercial transactions, which represented the slowest month for deals since January of 2019 (329 sales), and the slowest for November since 2012 (366 sales that year).
Nevertheless, 2022 will land as the second highest grossing real-estate sales year ever in Victoria, with $6.517 billion in transactions already registered between January and November. In 2020, $6.532 billion flowed through sales via the MLS, second only to 2021’s $8.976 billion.
“As 2022 winds down, the market is in a tug-of-war, as buyers hope for easing interest rates in the new year or at the very least stabilized interest rates, and sellers are hoping buyers accept a new normal,” Juras said. “And what we see to support this is the market remains busy, house shoppers are still active, but sellers, meanwhile, are not pressured to sell as you’d expect in a down market, and are in fact pulling listings that don’t perform.”
Indeed, November was the second month in a row for a decline in active listings, VREB data shows. In a buyer’s market, inventory ramps up, and leads to pressure among sellers to downgrade their expectations. September saw 2,300 listings, which fell to 2,192 in October, and slipped further in November to 2,111.
As for interest rates, another increase could be around the corner next week as the Bank of Canada mulls lifting its overnight lending rate. Economists predict a 0.25% or 0.50% increase is in order above the current rate of 3.75%.
Banks are presently offering well qualified buyers mortgages of just over 5% on five-year terms, and conspicuously, nearly identical variable rates. C
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