Monthly Housing Market Update

Caleb's Perspective on the Market

If I had to sum up the month of March with just 1 word to describe the real estate market, I would use the word flat. For example, we ended March with a total of 556 residential sales, which is almost identical to the 560 sales from 1 year ago; a miniscule 0.7% drop. The biggest change that we saw last month, however, was the increase in residential listings. In fact, at the end of March there were a total of 1,993 active residential listings for sale in the Victoria Real Estate Board, which is up by 25% from the same time last year.

house sold icon Residential Sales: 556
Down 0.7%

Similar to our sales numbers, there wasn't a strong change in prices last month as detached homes were up a little, and condos were down a little. For example, the median price of a single family detached house in March was $1,132,500 (up by 4.9% year over year, but essentially flat compared to last month). On the other hand, the median price for a condo in March was $555,000, which is down by 2.5% compared to the same time in 2023.  

median condo icon Median Condo Price: $555,000
Down 2.5%

In terms of the strength of the market, we are seeing conditions tighten slightly towards sellers as we do at the beginning of most spring seasons. For instance, the sales to active listings ratio increased to 27.9% in March, which is up for the second month in a row. This level of demand, as a percentage of our supply, means that we are currently sitting on 3.6 months of inventory, and this puts us slightly into a sellers market, although not a red hot sellers market.

median home icon Median House Price: $1,132,500
Up 4.9%

With sales flat, and prices not showing any sustained trends (up or down) the current market feels pretty well balanced even though it is officially a slight sellers market. Perhaps one of the reasons why it feels balanced is that we are currently sitting on the most inventory for any month of March since 2015. If the level of active listings continues to grow, we could see this sellers market fizzle out very quickly. However, with the potential for interest rate cuts in the near future it is impossible to guess what the market will bring for the rest of the year. But fear not, as I will be watching to see how things unfold and I'll send you my market update next month. Until then, enjoy the spring and let's hope for more nice weather.

market graph icon Months of Inventory = 3.6 (Seller's Market)

Supply still key to Victoria's housing market

April 2, 2024  A total of 588 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, 0.3 per cent fewer than the 590 properties sold in March 2023 but a 25.1 per cent increase from February 2024. Sales of condominiums were down 10.2 per cent from March 2023 with 177 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 1.8 per cent from March 2023 with 286 sold.

"We've concluded a rather quiet first quarter and are transitioning into the spring market," said 2024 Victoria Real Estate Board Chair Laurie Lidstone. "Many of our local REALTOR® members are noting that more shoppers are coming into the market - but this has not necessarily translated into sales numbers. This may change as we move into what is historically the busiest market of the year."

There were 2,647 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March 2024, an increase of 12 per cent compared to the previous month of February and a 34.4 per cent increase from the 1,970 active listings for sale at the end of March 2023.

"The increases in inventory we've seen in recent months really help to improve the health of our market," adds Chair Lidstone. "We have more inventory for consumers to consider when compared with recent years. This additional inventory improves both buyer and seller confidence as it means people have more options and more reassurance that they are going to be able to find their new home. As people buy and move, more properties are added to the available inventory, which supports a much healthier market. Supply really is key, and looking to the future we need to ensure that focus continues on the creation of new homes of all types and price points. If you're considering a move over the course of the spring market, connect with your favourite local Realtor for to-the-minute insight into our market to create your strategy."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2023 was $1,258,300. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2024 increased by 1.7 per cent to $1,279,300, up from February's value of $1,247,400. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in March 2023 was $549,000 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in March 2024 increased by 3.3 per cent to $567,300, up from the February value of $557,000.

About the Victoria Real Estate Board - Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs to enhance the professionalism of REALTORS®. The Victoria Real Estate Board represents 1,648 local Realtors. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, connect with your local Realtor for detailed information on the Victoria and area housing market.

View our press release and summary here.
View our complete statistical package here.

Notes for Interpreting Our Statistics

The use of sale price statistics can be useful in establishing trends when applied over a period of time, i.e. six months or longer. The Victoria Real Estate Board cautions, however, that such information does not indicate the actual value of any particular property. Those requiring specific information on property values should contact a REALTOR®.

The documents we link to on this page are stored in PDF format. If your browser already has a PDF plug-in like the Adobe Reader, you'll probably be able to simply click on the document you're interested in to view it here online. If not, you can download and install this popular, free software.

Courtesy of the Victoria Real Estate Board

Interpreting the Stats

Caleb Mickelson portrait wearing a light blue dress shirtI believe that one of the best indicators to gauge the current real estate market is the sales-to-active listings ratio. Instead of just focusing on the number of sales we have in a given month, the sales-to-active listings ratio expresses the number of sales as a percentage of the active listings that are currently available for sale. In other words, current levels of demand relative to current levels of supply. For example, if we had a sales-to-active ratio of 50% this would mean that in the entire Victoria Real Estate Market we would have just 2 months of inventory for sale. In other words, if this level of sales were to continue, it would take only 2 months to sell all of the remaining listings on the market.

What does this mean for prices? Well, generally, less than 4 months of inventory indicates a seller's market with prices increasing more the lower that this number goes. On the other hand, more than 6 months of inventory generally results in a buyer's market with prices dropping. The longer the trend remains, the stronger the correlation to price increases/decreases. Interest rates, new building starts, wages and the state of the economy all have an effect, but essentially it is the amount of demand relative to inventory available for sale that drives the market.

- Caleb Mickelson

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