Latest figures from the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) place the benchmark price for homes in Victoria at $618,600. This represented a 10 per cent increased over 2015 prices, with only four homes in the area listed for less than $400,000 as of last month.
Even though the number of listings actually dropped (2,471 in January, down from 3,200 the same month last year), this relative scarcity has spurred intense competition among bidding potential buyers, driving up costs way above their asking prices.
Hatter-King Real Estate realtor Shane King said that such a cycle could eventually lead to real estate values ballooning beyond control, as they previously did in Vancouver.
“There’s no reason why we couldn’t see thirty, forty per cent house price increases here. The conditions are perfect for it. We haven’t had growth in house prices, there’s lot of demand in Victoria, there’s lots of demand outside Victoria,” King told CTV Vancouver Island News
“We’re just seeing a ton of people coming over from the Lower Mainland. It’s great value compared to what you can afford [over there],” King noted.
While a boon for sellers, would-be consumers expressed anxiety over the trend.
“Being in the market, you might have your heart set on a particular house you’ve seen, and before you know it, it’s gone,” potential buyer Andrea Howarth said.
“You don’t even really get time to think, you just have to bid on it,” she added.
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With home sales increasing by 54 per cent in January 2016 compared to the same month last year, the Greater Victoria region has seen its greatest number of real estate transactions since 2002, according to analysts.