With significantly more homes selling of late than in the same period last year, the inventory of homes on the market is diminishing.
The June stats saw 910 homes sell in the Capital Region, a whopping 33.8-per-cent increase over the same month last year. A jump like that can’t help but have an effect on supply, as the 4,003 active listings available at the end of last month showed a 14.7-per-cent drop from 2014. Stories of sellers getting more than their listing price – mostly unheard of in the past five years – are becoming more common for well-kept, well-priced properties.
While the market in general is humming along, there are certain pockets where it’s getting tough to find properties for sale, says Langford-based agent Mike Hartshorne with DFH Real Estate.
“On the West Shore there seems to be a shortage of newer homes $450,000 and under with a double garage,” he says, giving a very specific example. There also seems to be a shortage of West Shore homes with a suite for under $550,000, he adds, and suited homes in Saanich East priced under $600,000 are equally tough to come by.
After several years of sluggish sales and flatlining demand, the balanced market seen in the past year or so is starting to take off again.
“It’s good to have this,” Hartshorne says. “It’s clearing out the inventory, it’s allowing people to sell and interest rates are still good. We’re seeing some price increases, but it’s not crazy.”
He calls the existing market conditions “controlled excitement,” where properties are moving – even those for which the listing may have expired previously – and people who may have been waiting to jump into the market are taking the plunge.
“The definition of what is a saleable home is a lot broader now. Because the market is a lot busier, there is a lot more ability for people to sell homes,” he says.
“I think it’s a terrific market and as a buyer, you have to be motivated and be on the ball. We’re not seeing ridiculous levels of people buying on speculation; it isn’t the same level of franticness as Vancouver, for example.”
But with interest rates at record lows and prices still within reach for many potential buyers, Hartshorne says, it’s definitely a less challenging time to be in the business of selling and finding homes for clients.
GREATER VICTORIA MARKET UPDATE »
MONTH TO DATE, JULY 6/15 COURTESY VICTORIA REAL ESTATE BOARD
» 97 / 681 — NET UNCONDITIONAL SALES / TOTAL, JULY 2014
» 181 / 1,195 –NEW LISTINGS / TOTAL, JULY 2014
» 3,908 / 4,570 — ACTIVE RESIDENTIAL LISTINGS / TOTAL, JULY 2014