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Sales activity slows as capital region housing market returns to seasonal norms

A total of 595 properties changed hands in July, down by 15 per cent from last month
Monthly real estate statistics for July 2023.

Greater Victoria real estate activity slowed significantly in July, with 595 properties changing hands.

That’s a 15 per cent drop from June, though still an improvement over the 510 transactions in July 2022.

Victoria Real Estate Board chair Graden Sol said the dip is no surprise, since a slowdown in activity is typical as the summer season sets in.

Condominium sales were up 16.3 per cent from July 2022, with 200 units sold, and the number of single-family homes sold jumped by 15.4 per cent from the same period last year, with 293 sold.

Sol said some homes at the higher end of the spectrum have had to trim their asking prices, while those in the lower end — ranging up to just over $1 million — have attracted competing offers, including some over the asking price.

The board’s benchmark value for a single-family home in the region increased to $1.178 million last month from $1.173 in June, but dropped year-over year from $1.22 million last July.

In the core — Victoria, Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Saanich and View Royal — the benchmark price of a single-family home held fairly steady at $1.32 million last month, compared with $1.31 million in June and $1.37 million at the same time last year.

The benchmark value for a condominium in the region in July was $575,600, down from $602,100 in July last year, while the townhouse benchmark hit $785,300 in July, down from $825,600 at the same time last year.

The number of available homes on the market was up at the end of July, with 2,419 active sale listings, an increase of 3.3 per cent from June and an 11.9 per cent increase from the 2,162 active sale listings at the end of July 2022.

“The good news is that, despite a slowdown in sales, we did witness an increase in inventory coming to the market,” said Sol. “These new listings are quite encouraging, as they indicate a growing movement in our market and show that consumers are becoming more willing to take action and make a move.

“The additional inventory translates to more choices for buyers and makes it easier for sellers who are looking to make a property change.”

Sol added that the region still needs to have at least 3,000 active listings for the market to find any kind of balance.

“We are so far away from a buyer’s type of market,” he said, noting the board would like to see municipalities step up and get housing approved and built as soon as possible.

“We need supply to start ­hitting the market now.”

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