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Posts tagged ‘Forecast’

Hot Weather In Victoria and Sooke – Today’s Forecast [Video]

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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BC and Vancouver Island Recessions, Potholes, Flooding, Gas Prices, And Other Things Amiss

storm_clouds_over_swifts_creek

What the hell? I leave the Island for 10 days and it falls apart on me?

I got back on late Sunday night from a week in Mexico to attend my cousin’s wedding and generally unplug from the world for awhile. On that note, an all-inclusive resort with 40 friends and family and really expensive internet connections is a great stress reliever. Before that I spent a couple days on the mainland with (different) friends and (same) family to ring in the new year (kinda lame) and go skating at Richmond’s fabulous new Olympic Speedskating Oval (totally sweet).

flood

So, being unplugged for a week (well, that and not being geographically co-located with the weather system) caused me to miss most of the weather chaos. It would suck to live in Port Renfrew about now, what with the main highway being washed out and all. Sooke Road (aka Provincial Highway 14), for those not in the know, is a complete disaster all the way along. Sooke Potholes no longer refers to the swimming hole on the Sooke River, but I bet there are some on the road big enough to swim in. I managed to ruin a perfectly good rim and tire on my car by hitting a huge one on Tuesday evening. Mainroad Contracting is going to get a nice letter.

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Tonight, the kind folks from the Provincial Emergency Program were at the Sooke Council Chambers to offer information and applications to residents who suffered uninsured damage to their homes during 6-8 January, 2009.

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Can somebody please explain to me why gas prices have increased by $0.15 while oil prices have decreased to below $40/bbl again? Somebody is gouging, I don’t care what they say.

Last night I attended, with the other directors of the Victoria Real Estate Board, the Canadian Home Builders Association Crystal Ball event, which featured several economists and our Board President, Chris Markham, giving their outlook on the economy and the housing markets for 2009. It was a good event, but obviously a heavy topic. I can’t imagine too many home builders that are thrilled about the recent slowdown in real estate sales.

Über-pessimist economist David Hobden of Central 1 Credit Union gave a grim forecast for 2009 (and 2010 somewhat), stating that the Island and Coast region are already in recession, and will remain so. He forecasts housing value to drop by 10 per cent in 2009. Hobden appeared to want to be anywhere but in that room last night, and his body language screamed doom, gloom, and defeat – it was painful to watch.

Jock Finlayson, BC Business Council executive vice president of policy was slightly more optimistic, and a much better speaker. He delivered his not-exactly-rosy forecast with levity and looked as if he enjoyed informing the room, which he had laughing on many occasions – and his visuals were way easier to read and understand. Finlayson explained that 2009 will be a difficult year, but by mid-year, credit conditions that are slowing the business cycle should improve, along with the U.S. economy, and 2010 should be a much better year. He forecasts housing starts (new construction) to be down by 40 or 50 per cent. Finlayson did a great job of explaining where all this mess came from and how Canada is better positioned to spend its way out of this recession via deficit budgets. Another positive point came in the fact that job losses will not likely be as sharp as in previous recessions because the demographics of recent years (families having fewer children and later in life, and people nearing retirement) will keep heavy losses in check – I’m sure you realize how tight labour markets have been up until a few months ago.

Victoria Real Estate Board 2009 President Chris Markham explained that while sales are slowing, it’s hard to compare 2008 to 2007 because it was an exceptionally strong year. This was emphasized by CMHC market analyst Travis Archibald showing that 2008 sales were actually very close to the 15-year average. The same goes for housing starts. They fell by a large percentage in 2008 over 2007, but are in-line with the historical averages. CMHC will be releasing its full outlook next month.

I think that Vancouver Island, and in particular, Victoria will fare better than the rest of the province, as we have a diversified economy, and stable major employers such as government and military. As for housing, it’s opportunity time out there. Buyers have their choice of many properties, and many would-be first-time buyers from the last few years, priced out by the rapidly increasing prices, will be looking at re-entering the hunt.

So, all in all, maybe the Island isn’t falling apart exactly, and I’m glad to be back. I’m optimistic about 2009, and we’re all in this together, so you might as well be optimistic too.

It’s all you can do.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Victoria BC MLS® Real Estate Statistics – June 2008

Nothing to comment on these numbers, but view the Sooke real estate statistics for June here.

Courtesy VREB:

Sales Soften, Prices Remain Stable

July 2, 2008

Sales of homes and other properties in the Greater Victoria area softened last month though prices continue to remain stable. Victoria Real Estate Board President, Tony Joe, notes that the modest decline in sales from May to June followed a similar pattern to last year. “There was a total of 723 sales of homes and other properties in June through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) compared to the 770 sales in May. Although sales last month were down substantially compared to the 949 sales in June of last year, it is important to remember that 2007 was an exceptional year for the local real estate market.”

Joe notes that prices remain stable. The overall average price of single family homes in Greater Victoria last month was $580,104; the six-month average was $600,740 though the median was considerably lower at $538,000. “There will always be month-to-month fluctuations in prices, but when we consider that the six month average in January was just over $586,000 we see that prices have remained remarkably stable this year,” said Joe.

The number of properties available for sale continued to increase last month rising to 4,513 – a 27 % increase compared to June last year. “With more properties from which to choose, buyers clearly feel less pressure to make a quick decision, though sellers who price their homes realistically can still expect strong interest,” said Joe.

The average price of all condominiums sold in June was $319,943; the average for the last six months was $330,992. The median was again lower at $295,000. The average price of all townhomes sold last month was $431,992; the six month average was $432,152. The median price was $399,500.

MLS® sales last month included 395 single family homes, 180 condominiums, 81 townhomes and 23 manufactured homes.

Summary Report and Graphs

Monthly Sales Summary
Average Selling Price Graphs
Active Listings, New Listings and Sales Graphs

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Victoria BC MLS® Real Estate Statistics – May 2008

No surprises here, inventory up, sales are down.

More evidence of balance in the real estate market (although with the number of new listings, I’m not sure just how ‘balanced’ it is!) was revealed today with the release of the Victoria Real Estate Board‘s May MLS® statistics.

Despite a 25% increase in listings available for sale over the same time a year ago, prices seem to be remaining stable. 18There were virtually the same number of sales this month as last, but 193 less than May of 2007. Despite that, the average and six-month averages of condos, townhomes, and single family detached homes remain virtually the same.

What does it all mean? The number of properties available for sale has been increasing steadily all year. However, buyers are still out there, and it’s still common to see well-priced properties get snapped up very quickly. What is important, as I’ve said time and time again, is good marketing. With so much to choose from, buyers will very quickly skim over properties with horrible photos, bad write ups, or worse still, none of the above.

Below is the full Victoria Real Estate Board news release, with graphs.

More Choices Now Available for Home Buyers

June 2, 2008
With a return to a balanced real estate market, home buyers in the Victoria area now have a much larger pool of properties from which to choose. The number of properties available for sale increased to 4,332 in June – a 25 % increase over the same month a year ago and the highest level since June 1998.

Victoria Real Estate Board President, Tony Joe, notes that despite this increase, prices and sales remain stable although the number of sales is down compared to a year ago. “There was a total of 770 sales of homes and other properties in May through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), virtually unchanged from the 768 sales in April but down from the 963 sales in May of last year.” Joe noted that a significant number of new properties came on the market last month: “There were 1,850 new listings in May – the highest number for a single month in over 18-years”. Joe added that 24 sales over $1 million had an impact on the overall average price of single family homes in Greater Victoria which last month was $601,897; the six-month average was $606,985 though median was considerably lower at $545,000. There were also three sales on the Gulf Islands of over $1 million.

The average price of all condominiums sold in May was $336,157; the average for the last six months was $333,208. The median was again lower at $295,500. The average price of all townhomes sold last month was $435,058; the six month average was $433,854. The median price was $394,900.

MLS® sales last month included 470 single family homes, 168 condominiums, 71 townhomes and 25 manufactured homes.

Summary Report and Graphs

Monthly Sales Summary
Average Selling Price Graphs
Active Listings, New Listings and Sales Graphs

Courtesy Victoria Real Estate Board

Tim Ayres

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B.C. Housing Market Spring Forecast

Expect sales volume to ease, prices to increase more slowly

BCREA Logo

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) has released its semi-yearly housing market forecast for the province. Despite economic troubles elsewhere in the country, B.C.’s economy is expected to remain strong and to outpace many other areas in Canada in terms of growth through 2009.

Provincial sales will dip to 93,800 in 2008 (a 9% drop) and 92,000 in 2009 (a further 2% drop). Eroding affordability and weaker economic growth are cited as reasons for the expected decline. Still, interprovincial and international migration will continue to underpin demand for housing in B.C., with individuals drawn to our province by robust job growth, climate, and amenities. The average residential price in B.C. is forecast ro increase 9 per cent to $479,000 this year, and a futher 4 per cent to $499,000 in 2009.

Regionally, BCREA predicts that Victoria MLS® sales will fall to 7800 units, a decline of 7 per cent from last year’s second-highest-on-record 8403 sales. Sales will remain above the ten-year average of 6750 units. The report notes that 12,000 jobs were created in the Victoria area in the first quarter of 2008. As I’ve said before, as our area diversifies its economy beyond government, military, and tourism, more and more people will continue to move here, attracted by competitive salaries and our Island way of life. The report forecasts an overall 10 per cent increase in prices this year, but notes that most of that growth has already occurred, and to expect single-digit growth for the rest of the year.

I think the most interesting prediction in the report is with housing starts. The report forecasts overall housing starts to drop 9 per cent this year (after a 6 per cent decline in 2007). Citing tight construction labour markets, higher credit costs, and trepidation on the part of developers, the BCREA feels that current new home inventories will be depleted, resulting in a higher level of construction activity in 2009 and 2010.

One thing to remember is that the BCREA’s report is based solely on MLS® data, and would not include sales of new homes by the developer’s private sales team, for example.

What do you think about the report? Comment below!

The full BCREA report can be found here.


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Victoria BC MLS® Real Estate Statistics – April 2008

Greetings, search engine visitors! For April Statistics, released today, June 2, 2008, click here!

As choices increase and buyers decrease, pressure is on to price it right!

There is still fuel in the fire of the Victoria and Sooke real estate market, but decidedly less from a year ago. The April statistics were released today, and despite an all-time record high average price for single-family detached houses of $630,295 (caused by a relatively high number of sales of $1M+ homes), the trend is to increased inventory and fewer buyers.

There were 17 per cent more properties available for sale last month compared to the same month a year ago, and 768 sales, compared to 898. Sales were up from March, which had 707 sales.

There is still robust market action on moderately priced and lower priced properties, and the key is good marketing and good pricing. Still, sellers can expect to have to wait longer than in recent years in most cases as buyers consider the increased inventory. Make sure your photographs look good! Below is the statistics release from the Victoria Real Estate Board and their graphs.

Real Estate Sales Moderate – Prices Remain Stable

May 1, 2008Sales of homes and other properties in the Victoria area moderated in April with a total of 768 sales through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), up from 707 sales in March but down from the 898 sales in the same month a year ago. Overall prices remain steady but 28 sales of over $1 million, including two sales in Oak Bay of over $2 million, pushed the average price of single family homes to a new record high.

Victoria Real Estate Board President, Tony Joe, notes that the number of properties available for sale continues to increase. “In April, there were 3,859 properties available for sale – a 17 per cent increase over the 3,305 properties on the market in April of 2007. This increase in inventory coupled with a moderation in the number of sales offers further indication of a more balanced market that offers stability for both buyers and sellers.”

Joe added that despite the record high average price for single family homes, overall prices remained steady last month. “The relatively large number of high-priced sales had a substantial impact on the average price of single family homes in Greater Victoria, pushing this figure to a new record high of $630,295 but it is important to note that the median or mid-range price was substantially lower at $558,000.” Joe noted that nearly 28% of single family homes last month sold for under $475,000.

The average price of all condominiums sold in April was $325,975; the average for the last six months was $328,915. The median was again lower at $294,900. The average price of all townhomes sold last month was $420,658; the six month average was $440,364. The median price was $407,450.

MLS® sales last month included 395 single family homes, 235 condominiums, 80 townhomes and 20 manufactured homes.

Summary Report and Graphs

Monthly Sales Summary
Average Selling Price Graphs
Active Listings, New Listings and Sales Graphs

Courtesy Victoria Real Estate Board

Tim Ayres


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Victoria BC MLS® Real Estate Statistics – March 2008

Greetings, search engine visitors! For April Statistics, released today, May 1, 2008, click here!

Steady as she goes, the Victoria real estate market remains healthy through the first quarter of 2008. Current inventory levels are 17% higher than the same time last year, as many condo and townhouse projects that started several years ago come on-stream to the Victoria Real Estate Board MLS®. Sales numbers are strong, but still less than the same period last year. Buyers have more to choose from, and sellers are still getting good prices for their homes. This is the balance that most people were predicting for this year’s market. Despite the average single family dwelling and townhouse prices being up over last month, I don’t think it’s possible to rely on month-to-month statistics to tell whether prices are moving. I think either way, up or down, they’re moving more slowly than in the past 5 years and we should be comparing quarter-to-quarter to establish trends. Below is the statistics release from the Victoria Real Estate Board and their graphs.

Real Estate Market Offers More Choices for Buyers

April 1, 2008

Real estate buyers in the Victoria area have a growing number of properties from which to choose. The total number of properties available for sale rose to 3,591 in March – a 17 per cent increase over March of last year. Victoria Real Estate Board President, Tony Joe, says the return to a balanced market is good news for both buyers and sellers. “With more properties available for sale, buyers now have a greater choice, but the continued demand for homes and steady prices mean sellers can anticipate strong interest in properties that are realistically priced.” There were 707 sales through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, down from the 833 sales in the same month a year ago but up 14 per cent from the 619 sales in February.

Joe added that prices remained steady last month, “Twenty-eight per cent of single family homes sold for under $450,000 while nearly 36 per cent of condominiums sold for under $275,000.” At the higher end of the market, Joe noted that there were 20 sales in Greater Victoria and two sales on the Gulf Islands of over $1 million.

The average price of single family homes sold in March in Greater Victoria was $597,176; the median price was lower at $529,625. The six-month average for single family homes was $591,439. The average price of all condominiums sold in March was $328,734; the average for the last six months was $332,552. The median was again lower at $300,000. The average price of all townhomes sold last month was $458,378; the six month average was $437,523. The median price was $411,500.

MLS® sales last month included 407 single family homes, 170 condominiums, 68 townhomes and 16 manufactured homes.

Monthly Sales Summary
Average Selling Price Graph
Active Lisings, New Listings and Sales Graphs

Courtesy Victoria Real Estate Board

Tim Ayres


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BC Homes Sales To Surpass 100,000 in 2007

BC Home Sales to Surpass 100,000
BCREA Fall Housing Forecast

Vancouver, BC – September 27, 2007. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its fall 2007 Housing Forecast today.

BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) home sales are forecast to break the 100,000 unit mark for only the second time in history. BCREA forecasts that BC MLS® residential sales will hit 101,000 units this year, up 4 per cent from 2006. The highest number of MLS® sales in the province was recorded in 2005, when a total of 106,310 homes were sold. The ten-year average is just under 78,000 units.

“Exceptionally strong consumer demand over the summer months has changed the outlook for this year from declining home sales to the second highest on record,” said Cameron Muir, Chief Economist. “While eroding affordability is squeezing some potential buyers out of the market, the housing stock is increasingly diverse, providing a mix of home types that appeal to a wide consumer market.”

BC home prices are also on the rise. The average MLS® residential price is forecast to climb 12 per cent to $437,000 this year. “While home prices continue to face upward pressure, the rate of growth is expected to moderate,” added Muir. The BC average MLS® price increased 18 per cent last year, and is forecast to rise at a more modest 8 per cent in 2008.

BC housing starts are forecast to decline 7 per cent to 33,900 units in this year and a further 4 per cent to 33,000 units in 2008. While single detached housing starts are trending down, multiple housing starts are holding firm at 21,000 units this year. Multiple housing starts now comprise 62 per cent of all new residential construction activity in the province.

The BCREA Housing Forecast is a semi-annual publication produced in the spring and fall of each year. The report contains forecasts and analysis of the BC economy and housing markets, including detailed forecasts by home type of the province’s 12 real estate board areas.

A complete copy of BCREA’s Housing Forecast is available here: www.bcrea.bc.ca/economics/forecasts/2007-09Forecast.pdf.