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January home sales 'slowest we've seen on record' in Victoria: VREB

Victoria real estate market heats up in February
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The Victoria Real Estate Board says 2023 is off to a slow start for home sales in the region.

Some 278 properties were sold in the Victoria area in January, down a whopping 41.4 per cent compared to the same time period in January 2022, and a decrease of 13.1 per cent compared to December 2022.

"If you’re looking at the statistics, this January was one of the slowest we’ve seen on record," said VREB chair Graden Sol in a release Wednesday.

"However, we did see a mid-month surge in activity as buyers seemed to regain confidence after the rapid interest rate increases of last year," he said.

Sol speculates that buyers and sellers may return to the market now that tumultuous interest rates have mostly settled down in Canada.

"Interest rates, continued low inventory and the greater economic situation in our area will determine what our early spring market will look like," he said.

Over the course of January, there were 1,739 active listings on the VREB "multiple listing service," marking a dramatic increase of about 133.7 per cent compared to the same time last year, when 744 active listings were on the service.

Sol notes that interest in properties that represent middle housing in Victoria remained relatively high during the slow month of January.

"The Victoria city council voting to move forward with their missing middle housing program is a great step in the right direction when we are considering how low inventory has impacted the attainability of housing in the CRD," said Sol.

"But this is one step in a marathon of work to be done to increase housing opportunities to meet our community’s short- and long-term needs," he said.

Sol encourages every municipality in Greater Victoria to continue adding housing density and inventory where possible.

Data from VREB's multiple listing service put the benchmark price of a home in Victoria at $1.25 million, in January, while the benchmark price for a condo was $578,300. 

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