Saanich real estate sales top $65 million in November

New figures show the price for an average single family home in the Greater Victoria area now exceeds $900,000, as November sales rose 12 per cent compared to the same period last year. November sales also exceeded October sales.

Ara Balabanian, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB), said the sales spike likely reflect a response to changing mortgage rules, calling it a “good example” of how outside forces can change market behaviour.

The federal banking regulator — known as Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions —announced the implementation of new lending guidelines that tighten mortgage requirements, starting Jan. 1.

“We suggested last month that some buyers may accelerate their purchase timeline to buy a new home in anticipation of the mortgage stress test on uninsured buyers — those with a down payment of 20 per cent or more — that will come into effect on Jan. 1,” he said.

Based on sales, some buyers have in fact sped up their purchasing plans to avoid the new mortgage stress test, with more to come, Balabanian said.“It’s quite likely we’ll see a little bump in sales over December, and even January as buyers who are avoiding the stress test will be making purchases,” he said.

But Balabanian warns against reading too much. This is not the start of a new trend, he said.

“Generally the winter months, particularly December and January, are quieter for real estate,” he said. “December is traditionally the very lowest month for listings and sales.”

During the holiday season, sellers often pause their listings, which means there is often less choice on the market, he said. “However, many buyers suspend their searches, which means serious buyers can find interesting opportunities.”

For now, numbers in Victoria are pointing up. “While not a record, it is the highest November sales count we’ve tracked since 1996,” he said. “It is also rare that we see November numbers beat October numbers.” Other markets have reported have reported similar developments.

Local housing prices have also risen. According to VREB, the average selling price of a single-family home in Greater Victoria was $902,985, up 5.6 per cent from the month before and 5.9 per cent compared to the same time last year. Back in November 2016, the average price of a single-family home stood at $852,590.

Balabanian warned against reading too much into that figure. “The average for a month doesn’t indicate what most buyers will pay for a home – two or three high value properties selling in a month can really increase an average in a smaller market like Victoria,” he said.

Looking at Saanich figures, 78 single family homes sold in November for a total of nearly $65 million,with sales in Saanich East outpacing Saanich West. Prices in Saanich East for single family homes also outpaced prices in Saanich West — $855,300 versus $705,600.

 

Just Posted

GUEST OPINION: Slinging mud and giving to charity

Potters come together to help Sooke charities

Sooke’s under-14 girls squad ready for playoff tests

Sooke team has perfect record so far

World Juniors fast approaching as selection camp begins in Colwood

BC Hockey and provincial dignitaries launched the championship on Tuesday at The Q Centre

Site preparation for new school in Langford to begin soon

Construction plan to be submitted in spring 2019

Heavy rain spurs public health advisory for Greater Victoria beaches

Wastewater along shoreline may pose a health risk

Miniature Christmas Land is back in Saanich

Local family continues to open intense Christmas-themed basement to public

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

Mental health issue suspected after spike belts end Island Highway car chase

Woman in her 30s detained after Tuesday afternoon incident in Lantzville

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Most Read