How to sum up 2016 for Victoria real estate? Well it’s been an eventful one. After several years of languishing and complete boredom in the market, things got exciting both in the local, provincial, and national spheres. I think I’ve written enough superlatives about the months of the year and I don’t need to rehash the various regulatory and policy changes we’ve experienced.
Looking back it’s not like we didn’t have warning. Since mid 2013 the market has been improving at a remarkably steady pace. Just like water boiling the proverbial frog, market conditions were improving so slowly and steadily that no one really thought that much of it. However in the spring a small swell of out of town buyers combined with improved local affordability to put the market into overdrive. Once that hit the news it sparked full scale panic and fear of missing out amongst those watching the market and the rest is history.
The sales to list ratio climbed steeply until July when it seemed to top out at 80%. While the plateau might seem like good news, this is a level higher than has ever been seen in the Victoria market so it would need to fall quite a bit to return some sanity to the market. Also December was an unreal reading of 120% sales to new listings which brought the annual average up another couple points. For every 5 homes that came on the market in December, 6 sold and 3 were taken off the market.
The sales panic this year led to a rapid consumption of inventory. Where previously inventory was falling by a leisurely 10% per year, by the second quarter we were down 40% over 2015 and kept up that pace even into December. Obviously this will have to moderate this year just because it’s hardly possible to reduce inventory further than it already is. We have only 921 residential properties for sale!
What will 2017 bring? Well you can refer to the predictions thread to get the shotgun approach to what might happen. Taking the average of all the projections, the average single family home will increase by 5%, while the average condo will increase by 10% as sales drop by some 14%.
Also a pretty active year for HouseHuntVictoria. According to the stats, the 90 some articles published were viewed by 51,000 users that created 528,000 page views. However most impressively and the reason this site is fun were the 13,356 comments left on the site in 2016. Thanks to everyone for contributing and here’s to another interesting year in Victoria!