Victoria’s hot housing market is only expected to heat up as the weather does, and with spring here, numbers of current listings in Oak Bay are already lower than usual says realtor Marc Owen-Flood.
“As of (last week) we had 43 current listings, 33 homes and 10 condos,” said Owen-Flood. “That is pretty low in terms of inventory, but there are still great properties to be had.”
He’s seen inventory go as high as 120 properties listed for sale in Oak Bay proper, but the low-inventory in the area is because of a few different factors.
“Not only is Oak Bay an incredibly desirable community to buy into, it’s an incredibly desirable community to stay in. People that buy here and live here tend to want to be here for the long run, so we do see a smaller turnover in properties than in some of the other Greater Victoria municipalities,” Owen-Flood said.
The desirable aspects of the community draw people from all over, but he is seeing an increase in buyers interested in moving to the Island from the Lower Mainland.
“This area in particular is popular because it is rich in job opportunities, especially for faculty at the University of Victoria. Oak Bay also has an amazing arts scene and is close in proximity to a couple of marinas and golf courses, as well as highly-regarded schools. It’s a community that does have it all, and it’s also so close to Downtown Victoria,” he said.
According to the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB), a total of 675 properties sold in the Victoria region this February, 12.6 per cent fewer than the 772 properties sold in February last year.
“Last month we discussed how 2017 won’t match 2016 in terms of huge sales numbers, due to many factors including the present lack of inventory,” said 2017 Board President Ara Balabanian in VREB’s Monthly Market Report.
“In spite of the low inventory the real estate market in Victoria is robust. The 10-year average for sales in February is 542, so we are well within expected numbers for this time of the year with 675 properties sold. In fact, this February’s sales are the second highest in the past 10 years. It is also possible that our market may have been restrained over the course of the month due to something that is completely normal in many Canadian markets – the snowfall in the Victoria area certainly cancelled many open houses and may have put a damper on sales,” said the report.
Owen-Flood said the best strategy for buying into the hot market is to work with an agent who knows the area well.
“As agents we get an updated list of inventory every day so we know right away when something becomes available to buyers,” he said.