Victoria core’s benchmark prices begin to decline

The Victoria core—comprised of Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay, View Royal, and Esquimalt—has seen the first drop in its benchmark home prices in roughly 2 years, according to the latest figures from the Victoria Real Estate Board.

The benchmark price in the core has declined to $823,100 last month from $834,200 in July, the Times Colonist reported.

“Though much too early to call a trend, we do see that the benchmark value for single-family homes in the Victoria Core area has decreased by 1.3 per cent when compared to July,” Board president Ara Balabanian said in a statement late last week. “This is the first time we’ve noted a decrease in [benchmark] values since August 2015.”

However, he hastened to add that the area has “seen a phenomenally busy two years in real estate for our area and we are likely heading toward a period of more balanced activity.”

August prices remained markedly higher than the same time last year, with the benchmark price of a single-family home in the core at $743,200 back in August 2016.

Balabanian expressed surprise at the sustained scarcity of supply in the region. As of August, there were 1,917 active listings, compared to the 1,921 available in July and the 2,094 listings a year ago.

“I expected inventory numbers to be climbing by now, but instead we’ve seen even lower numbers of listings on the market. This is likely leading to some buyer fatigue along with pressure on pricing in high-demand areas,” he said.

Related stories:
Victoria strengthening into one of B.C.’s most competitive markets
Heightened dependence in real estate characterizing B.C.’s economy—observers

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