May 2020 Real Estate Update

Hi everyone, I hope this message finds you and your families safe, healthy and in good spirits. I endeavour to bring you relevant market information, new listings, and the latest news which is shaping our local real estate market.
The conversation continues to circle around the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond real estate, it has been a pleasure for me to observe how our local community has come together in the name of safety and positivity.
From the last time this update reached you, the sluggish pace of the local real estate market has continued. For April 2020, there were only 287 total sales in Greater Victoria. This figure constitutes a drop of 59% from April 2019. In similar fashion, less homes are coming to market as only 667 new properties were listed in April 2020 compared to 1,392 in April 2019.
We are beginning to gather more data on how COVID-19 will affect the local real estate market. Some have been speculating that the trends in global markets, rising unemployment, and the economic weight that will follow may constitute some kind of collapse in the real estate market in Victoria. To their credit, these external factors are always relevant to the local, Canadian, and international buyers and sellers that transact properties in Victoria. Nevertheless, the crux on home price action in Victoria will always lie within the equilibrium between supply and demand.
At the end of April, we are still hovering at historically low inventory figures with just over 2,300 active listings in Greater Victoria. We are far from the typical spring market and I am predicting that once restrictions are slackened there will be an influx of new listings.
The critical factor at that time will be how much pent-up demand is present. If inventory begins to spike and more and more becomes available there may be some more downward pressure on prices if demand doesn’t follow suit.
Our sales to active listings ratio (months of inventory) was just above 4 months in March and has subsequently risen to close to 8 months for single family homes in April. I will continue to track the relationship between sales and active listings as the weeks unfold.
For those that are currently participating in the market, our industry has begun to adopt new business practices and emphasize technology in order to showcase properties safely. Listings can include video property tours and 3D tours and we are using health disclosures, social distancing, and disinfecting/sanitary procedures to help limit the risks associated with property visits.
To hear me speak on the current environment, be sure to watch the video above!

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