Greater Victoria’s home prices and the number of sales will climb slightly next year, bolstered by a stronger economy and rising consumer confidence, says a new housing report.
The average price for all types of housing should increase by one per cent to $490,000 by the end of 2014, from an expected $484,000 this year, said the Re/Max Housing Market Outlook released Wednesday. The number of home sales is expected to rise 3.4 per cent to 6,000 in 2014, up from 5,800 anticipated this year. If sales increase, it will mark the second year in a row. In 2012, total sales in Greater Victoria hit 5,460. Prior to that, sales numbers slid annually from 2009 when 7,660 homes changed hands.
Sales this year have been strongest at the entry point in each housing category, the report said. Single-family homes priced at less than $500,000 are popular, as are new condos costing less than $300,000. Buyers are expected to favour new condos because fees in existing buildings may rise as a result of findings in newly required depreciation and deferred maintenance reports, Re/Max said.
The “innovative” Janion project on Store Street spurred “surprising” interest, Re/Max noted. Buyers camped out overnight to be the first to snap up micro-lofts starting at $110,000. Developer Jon Stovell of Reliance Properties said all the first micro-units to go on the market have sold and so far a total of 103 units are reserved for purchase. A final batch of 16 micro-lofts will be available to buy in mid-January, he said. The company is transforming the old Janion Hotel into condos and building new units in an addition. Reliance has experience in the market, having built micro-lofts previously in Vancouver. “The strong response is a testament to the intrinsic qualities of downtown Victoria and the willingness of buyers to seek the benefit of affordability by virtue of size when there are so many amenities just outside the door,” Stovell said.
The capital region sees several sales of $1 million and higher every month. Last month, seven single-family homes in the high-end category were sold. Sales at the top end of the market are anticipated to inch up, the report said, adding, “another sign that the market has regained some lustre.” Greater Victoria’s housing market performed well this year, particularly with a rally of sales in the summer, the report said. “Inventory has receded and conditions have largely stabilized, with the number of new listings more consistent with traditional patterns.” © Copyright 2013