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With less than 2,000 active listings, Victoria’s real estate market remains firmly weighted in favour of the seller, according to data released Tuesday by the Victoria Real Estate Board.

There were 1,921 active listings at the end of last month, a drop from the 2,161 on the market in July 2016, which led to sellers getting excellent prices for their homes.

The median sale price of a single-family home in the region was $759,000 last month, a 14.3 per cent increase from the $664,000 recorded in July last year.

“The numbers from last month illustrate an ongoing demand for homes in Victoria,” said VREB president and a Managing Broker with Macdonald Realty Victoria, Ara Balabanian. “We anticipated at the beginning of the year that we would see another busy market — without the record-breaking numbers we saw in 2016 — and we are seeing exactly that.

“The surprise has been the low inventory levels, with listings for sale consistently below 2,000.”

The lack of inventory has meant sales activity is not as strong as last year and pressure has built on both pricing and availability. There were 790 properties sold last month, a drop off from the 1,008 sold in June this year and down from the 972 sold in July last year.

“The activity level in the Victoria real estate market continues to be brisk, though we always expect a slowdown in the summer months,” said Balabanian. “This July, we saw a strong focus on the lower-priced end of the market, with condos and townhomes and single-family homes listed for under $700,000 in high demand.

“Many of those properties saw multiple offer situations.”

Sales activity on the rest of Vancouver Island also dropped last month with the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board recording 558 single-family home sales in July, down from 605 in July 2016 and 618 in June of this year.

But a lack of inventory in the region north of the Malahat has meant homes are selling faster and for more money.

Inventory of single-family homes declined by 13 per cent from July 2016, with 1,367 active listings available last month compared to 1,575 one year ago.

“Total active listings on the market this spring were down 21 per cent in Victoria and 30 per cent across the rest of Vancouver Island,” said B.C. Real Estate Association economist Brendon Ogmundson. “This imbalance will result in rising home prices until the supply of homes for sale increases, consumer demand declines, or a combination of both factors occurs.”

“Consumer demand is high, and buyers are snapping up well-priced properties quickly once they hit the market,” said Don McClintock, VIREB president-elect. “Multiple offers are commonplace, which is frustrating for buyers and their agents. In fact, we’re now seeing multiple offers on condominiums and townhouses, which is virtually unprecedented for the VIREB area.”


Greater Victoria, July 2017
790 Properties sold, -18.7% from July 2016
1,921 Active MLS listings, -11.1% from July 2016


Greater Victoria, July 2017
359 Single-family homes
243 Condominiums
80 Townhouses


Average price, Greater Victoria, July 2017
$868,008 Single-family homes
$402,499 Condominiums
$506,614 Townhouses

The article was originally posted on Times Colonist, August 2, 2017. Written by Andrew A. Duffy.