TC analysis is out and it's surprisingly balanced.
A total of 602 homes and other properties sold in March through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) up a significant 49 per cent from the 403 sales in February. There were 707 sales in March of last year. Prices, meantime, remained very stable with modest increases in some sectors. There were 3,859 properties available for sale at the end of March. That represents a seven per cent increase compared to March of last year and only a minor increase from the 3,844properties available for sale at the end of February.
Markham noted that prices remained strong and stable in March. The average price for single family homes sold in Greater Victoria last month was $534,689 down slightly from $542,396 in February. However, the median price rose to $503,751. The six-month average was $540,244. The overall average price for condominiums was $294,393 last month up from $286,985 in February. The average for the last six months was $288,661. The median price for condominiums also rose in March to $266,500. The average price of all townhomes sold last month was $405,003 up from $381,383 in February. The six month average was $398,320 while the median price in March was $356,450.
MLS® sales last month included 343 single family homes, 163 condominiums, 64 townhomes and 11 manufactured homes.
My thoughts? Are any of us who watch the market really all that surprised? Here's what we see happening:
- sales volumes are up month over month
- sales volumes are down year over year
- sales prices are basically flat month over month
- sales prices are down year over year
Despite this buying effect, prices are not climbing. This simple fact should be a cause for concern to the market. Houses, especially with suites, priced at $550,000 or less are still firmly in seller's market territory in Victoria. And prices aren't going up because that price point is at the extreme limits of mortgage helper supported mortgage payment affordability. When prices in this segment don't rise, the move-up market disappears, albeit slowly.
I'm still "seeing" a flat market until June, then a steady downwards pressure on prices for the rest of the year. The days of increased prices in Victoria are gone. And they could be gone for a long time, even up to 10 years. Right now the market is fighting itself: will prices drop drastically, or will they flat-line for a decade until they get back to the inflation trend line?