March is shaping up to be a record-setter for the fewest homes up for sale in the Victoria market.

Real estate blogger Leo Spalteholz says March typically sees around 500 newly listed homes for sale in the Greater Victoria region, but so far this March that number is closer to 120.

“It’s the lowest I’ve ever seen it, and looking back at the stats back to 1996, it’s the lowest for this current time of the year,” said Spalteholz. “What’s really odd this year is that it’s not really building as it should.”

Spalteholz said the lack of inventory is leaving house hunters with few options.

“Last year at this point, it was about 38 per cent higher than it is now,” he said.

Realtor Tony Zarsadias says the lack of inventory in the region can be stressful for buyers who are forced to compete for prime properties.

Instead, some of them are planning ahead.

“Pre-construction, if you’re buying from a developer, they don’t typically allow things to go to multiple bids so there’s less urgency to buy,” he said. “There’s still some urgency because things are selling, but it’s not like you’re bidding against 10 other people for the same property.”

Zarsadias said the benefit of pre-sales is that buyers can purchase at 2017 prices for properties that may not be available until next year.

“If the market continues doing what it’s doing then they’ll actually be in a better position,” he said.

The Victoria Real Estate Board is expected to release its full market statistics report for March at the end of this month.

With a report from CTV Vancouver Island's Louise Hartland