Recently our Victoria Real Estate Market is seeing a lot of mixed messages.
- The economy is good or is it?
- housing starts are up, or are they?
- Sales Price averages are steady or are they?
- This is a bad time to move or is it?
These are some hotly debated topics amongst Realtors and their clients and our peers.
Let's look at the last one first.
Is this a good or bad time to move......?
It really depends, but I would say that if you are currently a local property owner that is thinking about moving to a similar type of property, there is really no reason not to make the move. If you are a local owner moving up in the market, this is likely a good time to move, and also if you are thinking of moving down this is a good time to move all for different reasons, but all very valid.
If you are new to home ownership, and are thinking about buying your first home, I would say proceed with caution, as many of the starter home options are condos in older buildings and they often come with the danger of big special assessment issues down the road. So be sure to talk to your friendly Realtor (that would be us) to make sure that you do not get caught with your dream home becoming a night mare over night..... (so pfunny, unless it happens to you).
As many people locally are in a time of their life that downsizing is part of their plan (short or long term) let me address that one separately. If you are still in the family home and are considering to over to something smaller (townhome, condo suite etc.). this is an awesome time to do so, ad demand for good single family homes is healthy and strong, yet the supply of options for you future home and location has never been this good.....
Translating this to money, you will get a solid and good price for your property, and will be able to make a real good deal on your future home because there is an over supply of them........ Again proceed with caution and be sure to ask us where to buy and what to avoid....
Next on the agenda, are prices really steady or is that just a statistical trick........
Well again the opinions are divided, but in my mind and our observations are that in general prices are down in the condo market by as much as about 10% year to date.... As far as the rest of the market, it takes a little more digging to figure out what is happening....
My observations and review indicates that the average type single family home (between $ 350,000 and $ 600,000) is holding its own for the most part for now, there is a little downward pressure, and some more motivated sellers are reducing prices somewhat to make sure they sell.
where we see the big changes is everything that is well beyond the average home types or prices High end anything (Homes, condos, townhomes etc.) of the ones that are selling the price drops can be very significant (we have seen some instances of price reductions between asking ans selling price of $ 300,000 and $ 500,000)..... that is some serious money.
When Bay View announced their 50% price reduction for 3 dozen of their condos it has an impact on everything in the market. When a $ 2,000,000 house sells for $ 1,500,000 it has an impact on every other property for sale in those type of price ranges if those sellers want or need to sell.
So yes, we are seeing price reductions in a substantial number of properties, but again if you are moving locally or are coming new to Victoria, this is a good thing for the most part....
Next To Housing starts.....
CMHC is the entity that monitors housing starts, based on applications at cities and municipalities that provide them with this information...... All cute, but you and I that are actually riding the streets of our Greater Victoria Area, know better. Reality is that over the past months to a year many of the earlier announced projects (big and small) have been shut down, slowed down or canceled. so on balance, and hard reality, new construction would have to have some real good reason to actually start anything right now (like guaranteed pre-sales of more than 40%), commercial construction (like Uptown) and or customer custom designed homes.
Last but not least the local economy. I left this for last because it is likely the hardest to read and figure out. It seems like we in Victoria are dealing with a bit of a delayed reaction.
when every where else in Canada the alarm bells where going off, BC kept on going mainly because of all the projects on the go and committed for and around the Olympics.
Now that both government and the private sector is past all that, and we see both the good and the bad of all the extra out put of money, resources and results, it appears that every small and or larger employers are holding off on future growth, spending and opportunities.
The province is not hiring in fact they are firing, things that need doing are postponed and moved forward, and this has a big local impact. At the same time the rest of Canada is now recovering which may make our local economy look a little more fragile than what it really is.
We are also impacted by some other issues, HST shell shock, After Glow of the Olympics, Indecision on large Local infrastructure projects (Bridges, Sewer treatment, overpasses over highways, commuter transportation systems etc etc.
then we will also face the hard reality of the graying of our population and the extreme need to find solutions for it (both in human as well as infrastructure needs).
So before our Economy gets much better we would expect it to be a time of reflection and continued bickering over priorities and political delays around the real concerns of our citizens.
On the good side, we still are and will continue to be the promised land for all of Canada, so people will always want to be here and this will offer us eventually the human and financial resources to do what needs doing, and keep Victoria the best place to live in Canada.