November saw the greatest number of home sales in Victoria BC since 1996!
Is this a start of a new trend? Not according to Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. “The fact that we've had an unusual month does not necessarily mean that this is the start of a new trend. It is, however, a good example of how outside forces can impact a housing market."
Balabanian suggests buyers have accelerated their purchase timelines in order to avoid the upcoming stress test on uninsured buyers coming into effect on January 1st. The new stress test will now include those with a down payment of 20 percent or more. The test will require purchasers to prove they can make meet their commitment if interest rates rise above the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or 2 percent higher than their contracted mortgage rate, whichever is higher.
"Judging by the sales we saw in November and what I have heard from our REALTOR® members, some buyers have indeed accelerated their purchasing plans to avoid the stress test,” says Balabanian. “This may change the numbers we see in the early months of 2018, as some buyers who had planned to buy next year have bought a bit earlier."
There were 1,764 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of November 2017, a decrease of 7.4 percent compared to the month of October and 2.8 percent fewer than the 1,815 active listings for sale at the end of November 2016.
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single-family home in the Victoria Core in November is now $824,600, which is slightly higher than October's value of $821,900. It is 10.2 percent higher than November last year when it was at $748,500.