Victoria BC November 2, 2016

 

A total of 735 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, a single property more than the 734 properties sold in October last year.
 
Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 1,938 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2016, 38.9 per cent fewer than the 3,170 active listings at the end of October 2015.
 
"We continue to see low inventory hindering sales in the local market," notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. "Though our numbers are down from the record setting pace set this summer, the market is still moving quickly and is still very competitive for certain properties. High demand areas like Saanich and Oak Bay continue to see multiple offers and areas in the West Shore are also seeing sales over listed prices. In other areas, prices remain firm because of high demand and extremely limited inventory."
 
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in October 2015 was $608,200. The benchmark value for the same home in October 2016 has increased by 24.1 per cent to $755,000.
 
"The federal government's change to mortgage lending rules has also impacted buyers," adds President Nugent. "Buyers that require mortgage insurance are able to qualify for significantly smaller mortgages than before the rule change and this is further limiting their options in a very restricted market. Some buyers have postponed their search in order to save up more of a down payment so they can work within these new limitations."

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The summer selling-season frenzy is over, but fall has just as much (if not more) sales-inducing mojo to offer. The crisp autumn weather gives home hunters new incentive to find that perfect house to snuggle into before the rainy season starts. Here are some surefire season-sensitive tips to make sure it’s yours that they choose

Clean up the Yard
Plant fall flowers
Ensure outside lights and doorbell are working
Tune up the furnace
Squeaky Clean Fireplace
Wash the windows

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October 3 2016, Victoria, BC

A total of 781 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this September, an increase of 10.9 per cent compared to the 704 properties sold in September last year.

Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 2,061 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of September 2016, 40.7 per cent fewer than the 3,478 active listings at the end of September 2015.

"This is the lowest level of inventory on the market in September that we have on record [since 1996]," notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. "This continuing lack of inventory holds up sales. The market is still strong, but not moving at the pace we saw earlier in the year. This slowdown is typical with what we expect in the fall to winter season and may be more pronounced as a result of buyer fatigue, due to the lack of available inventory."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in September 2015 was $607,100. The benchmark value for the same home in September 2016 has increased by 22.8 per cent to $745,700.

"We have already exceeded the number of sales that we saw in 2015, with a full quarter remaining in the year," adds President Nugent. "And there is still strong demand, thanks to underlying fundamentals in our province - the GDP is up, employment numbers are up, retail and population growth is up. All of these contribute to current market conditions. We also see no indication that the new foreign buyer Property Transfer Tax in Metro Vancouver has pushed foreign buyers into our market in a substantial way, though we continue to track that as a possibility."

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A spacious home can be incredibly appealing to potential buyers. No one wants to live in a space that seems cramped and cluttered.

Even if your house is relatively small, there are ways you can maximize the space you do have.

We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to find out their top tips for making your home seem more spacious to potential buyers.

Declutter and stage

Clearing countertops, removing knickknacks and getting rid of oversized furniture are key first steps to make your space appear as spacious as possible.

Several Influencers mentioned “less is more” when it comes to furniture and accessories. Your best bet is to leave only a few subtle, decorative items.

“Keep in mind that when showing your house, there could be four or five people wandering through at once. Make sure they can go from room to room without bumping into anything,” said a RE/MAX Influencer.

Hiring someone to stage your home will likely be a worthwhile investment. It may also be worth it to rent a storage space during the period when your house is being shown.

Brighten it up

Walls that have light colours and good lighting can go a long way toward making your home look more spacious. It’s also a good idea to have window coverings opened to allow as much natural light in as possible.

Eliminate mats and certain area rugs to help focus on floor area; remove large photos to help the space on the walls stand out.

“It’s simple: Clean, crisp colours, open spaces, open window coverings, brighter lightbulbs and less clutter will showcase the space within your house.”

Smaller furniture = larger room

Bulky pieces of furniture are often the culprit for making spaces appear smaller than they are. Depending on the layout, a large sectional couch may be better in the basement than in a main floor living space.

Arranging furniture in groupings, away from walls, can have the desired effect of making your room seem bigger. Also, if your dining table has leafs, remove them to maximize the space. Add crown molding to heighten the stature of the room.

“A great rule of thumb is: The more wall space and floor space that is visible, the better.”





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August 2 2016, Victoria, BC
 
A total of 972 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this July, an increase of 22 per cent compared to the 796 properties sold in July last year.
 
"Though we saw the seasonal slowdown that we expect this time of year, we had another record breaking month," says Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. "The last time we saw a July this busy was in 2009 when 933 properties sold."
 
Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 2,161 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of July 2016, 45 per cent fewer than the 3,942 active listings at the end of July 2015.
 
"Late last week the provincial government approved new legislation that may affect the real estate market in our area, though at this time we can only guess how a foreign investor's tax in the Metro Vancouver region will impact sales here in Victoria," adds Nugent. "Recent data released by the government shows that nearly ten per cent of property transfers in Metro Vancouver involved foreign nationals. This is part of the rationale for applying a fifteen per cent tax on transactions only in Metro Vancouver at this time. Does this mean international demand will spill over into Victoria and other areas of BC? We won't know until we see the data.The Capital Regional District saw two per cent out of country buyers in the year of 2015. Although this is a small percentage of our buyers, anecdotally foreign buyers do tend to favour the same core neighbourhoods and therefore can have an impact on those areas."
 
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in July, 2015 was $599,800. The benchmark value for the same home in July 2016 has increased by 23.6 per cent to $741,100.

Find the Statistics Package as released to media here.

The full Stats Package will be posted on the website early afternoon.
 

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A section of Wilkinson Road will close for six months June 6, diverting up to 15,000 drivers a day to alternative routes. Wilkinson Road will be closed between Mann Avenue and Greenlea Drive for construction of a new bridge — part of a $6.5-million infrastructure project.

The new bridge replaces the 1935-built Lindsay Street Bridge with a seismic and safety improved design, according to the District of Saanich. The project upgrades utilities in the area and adds bike lanes, pedestrian walkways, a foot bridge and 200 new trees. Local access to the area is limited to residents, emergency services and municipal services, from each end of the closure to the bridge.

Saanich is asking the public to plan alternative routes and avoid the area if possible.

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June 1, 2016 Victoria, BC

A total of 1,289 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this May, an increase of 42.4 per cent compared to the 905 properties sold in the same month last year.

Inventory levels remain lower than the previous year, with 2,406 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of May, 40.5 per cent fewer than the 4,043 active listings at the end of May 2015.

"These are very interesting times in local real estate," notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. "The market we are experiencing has exceeded our expectations. There are influences in the marketplace that we do not fully understand yet, like the impact of out-of-town buyers and millenials moving into the market, and the seemingly sudden international attention our island city has started to receive. And some folks may be buying now because they are concerned that the market is going to continue to increase in value. Traditionally spring is the most active season for real estate, so it will be interesting to see if this feverish pace continues into the summer months."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in May, 2015 was $593,200. The benchmark value for the same home in May 2016 has increased by 19 per cent to $706,500.

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Pets are considered members of the family.

 

But when selling a home, our four-legged family members can cause additional challenges.

Limit the impact

Pets tend to leave a mark; however, by limiting their impact, you can make your space appealing to any buyer. Dogs should be removed from the home, or kenneled, during showings. Cats should also be removed, if possible. Bird and reptile cages should be covered. The idea is to effectively reduce the impact that a pet would have on people who are not receptive to pets.

Those who have rare or exotic pets—such as snakes, spiders or rodents—may also want to consider removing them during showings, as these pets may, literally, scare off potential buyers.

Clean up the mess

Scoop the poop! The last thing you want an interested buyer taking away from your showing is a bad smell on his/her shoe. Regularly clean up after your pet to make sure there aren’t unpleasant surprises hiding under your grass.

Have a plan to stash away pet toys, scratching posts and food dishes during showings. By having these items around, potential buyers may be more sensitive to pet-related odours, as well as wear-and-tear that would perhaps otherwise be overlooked.

Wipe down the walls and vacuum up any sort of pet hair. You may be used to a shedding pet, but those attending the showing might not be as receptive. Be sure to also clean any cages, aquariums or litterboxes!

Freshen up the smell

Don’t forget that the smell is part of the experience of viewing a home. People who aren’t used to pets will likely detect the smell of a pet much quicker than someone who is used to the scent. It may be a good idea to have a friend come by and ask them to objectively explain their experience to you.

One of the most harmful smells is often a cat litterbox. During the time your home is on the market, the litter should be changed frequently to avoid this form impacting the sale. Scented candles and plug-ins may not be enough to completely mask the smell.

“Smell is a major factor that can help or hinder a sale. Fresh baked bread can make the home feel like home; animal scents can cause a buyer to feel like it may take a lot of money to get the smell out of a home,” said a RE/MAX Influencer.

“All buyers use their noses when shopping for a home.”

Create a plan

Creating a plan for showings will ensure that your home is always at its best when potential buyers have a look. Create a checklist of items you need to put away, or things you need to clean prior to the showing.

If you have a pet that you can’t remove for showings, be creative about how you acknowledge its presence.

“A client had a cat that wanted out, so I put a sign on the entrance for showings to warn buyers. The sign said: ‘Jewels will be your furry showing assistant today. She’s very friendly. Please don’t let her out. Her Mom would be very upset as she’s so cute. She won’t be included in the sale of the home.’”

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Toronto and Kelowna, April 7, 2015// Canadian millennials are optimistic about the future, including their homeownership prospects, according to a new poll by RE/MAX. The survey, conducted by Leger, found that 78.5 per cent of Canadians 18-34 agree that owning a home they love is attainable. In all provinces, Canadians overwhelmingly agree that homeownership is attainable, despite price appreciation in cities like Toronto and Vancouver.

The survey also found that 81.6 per cent of Canadians 18-34 agree that finding a good job in their field is attainable, demonstrating overall optimism about their future.

While millennials are optimistic about homeownership, many expect help in order to make their dreams a reality. Of Canadians 18-34 who are considering buying a home, 37 per cent expect help with their downpayment from a family member or friend. Of those who are expecting help, 60 per cent anticipate that it will come from their parents.

“The older generation has seen significant appreciation in the value of their homes, while the younger generation is entering the market at a higher price point,” said Gurinder Sandhu, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region .  “This means first-time buyers in Canada’s higher-priced markets often need a little help, which many parents are in a position to offer.”

Unsurprisingly given the higher home prices in these regions, prospective buyers in all age demographics in British Columbia are most likely to expect help, followed by those in Ontario.

The survey also found that when asked about their financial priorities, 68.2 per cent of Canadians 18-34 agree that saving for a downpayment is a priority and 78.4  per cent  agree that saving for retirement is a priority.

“We’ve found that for many young Canadians, homeownership is an important milestone that they are actively working toward,” said  Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada.  “Furthermore, while Canadians continue to value and aspire to homeownership, they are not doing so at the expense of other financial considerations, such as retirement savings.”

The survey, conducted by Leger, surveyed 1,516 Canadians between Monday, March 28, and Thursday, March, 31, 2016.

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