POPULATION GROWTH AND REAL ESTATE ACTIVITY
The 2016 census recorded a population of 367,770 in
metropolitan Victoria, an increase of 6.7% over 2011. Most of the population, 235,689 (64%), reside
in the Core Communities, followed by the West Shore with 82,543 (22%) and the
Peninsula with 39,735 (11%). The West
Shore led in population growth at nearly +13%, largely attributed to growth in
Langford at +21%. The Core Communities
grew by +5.2%, led by Esquimalt at +9%. The
Peninsula grew by some +4%, led by Central Saanich at +5.5%. 2016 was a
record-breaking year for the real estate market in Victoria. There were 10,098
residential sales through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s MLS® in 2016, nearly
double 5,492 sales in 2011. Similarly,
the dollar value of sales more than doubled in the same period, from $2.73
billion in 2011 to $5.98 billion in 2016.
The average sale price increased by $95,370 over this five-year period,
up some +19.2%.
Residential sales in the Core Communities reached 5,773 in
2016, an increase of +72% from 3,351 in 2011.
Over the same period, the total value of residential sales increased
+109% and the average sale price rose to $632,482, an increase +21% over 2011. Clearly, many buyers are willing and able to
pay for more expensive housing to enjoy the convenience and the amenities
available in the core area of Greater Victoria.
The proportion of sales in the Core Communities fell by -3.0%, from 64%
in 2011 to 61% in 2016. There were 1,124 residential sales on the Peninsula in
2016, up from 715 in 2011, an increase of +57%.
The value of residential sales increased +104% and the average sales
price reached $686,970, an increase of +30% over 2011. The average sale price reflects the impact of
the number of waterfront and estate type properties on the Peninsula. The
proportion of sales on the Peninsula fell -2.0%, from 13% in 2011 to 11% in
2016. The West Shore has experienced the
most rapid growth in real estate sales in the region. Residential sales reached 3,201 in 2016, up
+125% from 1,426 in 2011. The total
dollar value of residential sales rose +159% over the five-year period. The average sales price reached $487,307, an
increase of +15%, which is modest when compared to other areas. The West Shore still offers the most
affordable housing in the region and is the preferred choice of many first-time
home buyers. At the same time, the
proportion of sales in the West Shore increased +6.0% from 26% in 2011 to 32%
Perhaps the predominant characteristic of Victoria’s real
estate market in the 1st Qtr of 2017 is the shortage of supply and the
accompanying upward pressure on prices. Supply
(i.e., the number of homes put up for sale) has not been this low in more than
twenty-five years. Demand (i.e., the
number of sales) remains high, indeed many argue that sales would have been
substantially higher had there been more properties available to purchase. Sale prices continue to increase. The differential between the sale price and
the original list price has decreased. Indeed, most homes sold at or above
their list price. Finally, properties are spending less time on the market. The number of “residential properties” (i.e.,
all types of housing excluding lots/acreage and commercial properties) listed
through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s MLS® in the 1st Qtr of 2017 was 2,453,
down -26.0% from 3,316 in the 1st Qtr of 2016. Residential sales through the
VREB’s MLS® totaled 1,955 in the 1st Qtr of 2017, down -14.6% from 2,289 in the
1st Qtr of 2016, but still up +26.5% from 1,546 sales in the 1st Qtr of 2015. The sales-to-new-listings ratio was .80 (a
remarkable figure for this time of year) even stronger than .69 last year. Properties that sold in the 1st Qtr of 2017
were on the market for an average of 32 days compared to 49 days last year. The average sale price of a residential
property in Greater Victoria and other areas was $628,293 in the 1st Qtr of
2017, up +13.5% from $553,417 in the 1st Qtr of 2016. The median sale price was $535,000 in the 1st
Qtr of 2017, up +9.2% from $489,900 last year.
The figures for Victoria compare with average residential sale prices
and year-to-date percentage changes of $950,185 (13.3%) in Vancouver, $624,704
(-8.4%) in the Fraser Valley, $834,628 (+25.6%) in Toronto and $459,337 (+2.6%)
in Calgary for the first two months of 2017. THE MARKET INVENTORY As shown in
Table 2, there were 981 properties active on the VREB’s MLS® database for the
Greater Victoria area (i.e., excluding the Malahat, Up-Island and the Gulf
Islands) on Apr 1, 2017, down -43% from 1,712 on Apr 1, 2016. (This is the lowest the inventory has been on
an April 1st in over two decades).
SINGLE FAMILY DWELLINGS (SFDS)
Sales of SFDs in Greater Victoria totaled 937 in the 1st Qtr
of 2017, down -23.4% from 1,223 sales during the same period last year. The average sale price of SFDs in the 1st Qtr
of 2017 was $839,019, up +17.9% from $711,555 last year. The median sale price was $734,000 in the 1st
Qtr of 2017, up 17.9% from $622,500 last year.
SFDs that sold in the 1st Qtr of 2017 were on the market for an average
of 29 days, down from 35 days a year ago.
The sales-to-new-listings ratio was .74 in the 1st Qtr of 2017, up from
.50 last year. As shown in Chart 4, both
the average and median sale prices have been on a steep upward trend since the
4th Qtr of 2014.
Condominium sales remained strong in the 1st Qtr of 2017
with total sales of 668, up +6.2% from 629 in the 1st Qtr of 2016. The average sale price for a condominium was
$393,852 in the 1st Qtr of 2017, up +17.8% from $334,235 last year. The median sale price was $350,000, compared
to $290,000 last year. Condos that sold
in the 1st Qtr were on the market for an average of 21 days, down significantly
from 56 days last year. The sales-to-new-listings
ratio was .78 in the 1st Qtr of 2017, up from .76 last year. As shown in Chart 5, the average and median
sale prices of condominiums recently have shown a steady upward trend.
Townhouse sales totaled 180 in the 1st Qtr of 2017, down
-27.4% from 248 last year. The average
selling price was $507,315 in the 1st Qtr of 2017, up +11.5% from $454,841 in
the 1st Qtr of 2016. The median sale
price was $471,450, up +10.5% from $426,500 last year. Townhouses that sold in the 1st Qtr of 2017
were on the market for an average of 26 days, down from 48 days last year. The sales-to-new-listings ratio was .80,
compared to .53 last year. As shown in
Chart 6, average and median sale prices have shown a steady upward trend over
the past two years.
There were 57 sales in the 1st Qtr of 2017 compared to 66
sales in the 1st Qtr of 2016, 34 sales in the 1st Qtr of 2015 and 24 in the 1st
Qtr of 2014. The average and median sale
prices of lots/acreage in the 1st Qtr of 2017 were $333,372 and $216,000
respectively. (Note: the clear majority
of these sales were in Sooke where land is comparatively less expensive).