Monthly Real Estate Update

Philip Illingworth
British Columbia

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Rocky shore near Oak Bay       

Month-to-Date Victoria Market Statistics

March 12,  2018


Mont to date
March 2018
End of
Mrch 2017
Net Unconditional Sales: 235 929
New Listings: 424 1,217
Active Listings: 1,627 1,556


Left Column: stats so far this month.  Right Column: stats for the entire month from last year.
*This will be updated weekly at &


MyVictoria Report  

December 13, 2017

Phil's Victoria Real Estate 2018 Forecast

2017 has been another interesting year in the Victoria Real Estate Market! By year end the number of Residential Sales will be about 15% down compared to 2016.  But thanks to our record low inventory the MLS Home Price Index will be around 15% higher than one year ago.

November and December have seen higher than expected levels of sales thanks to the new mortgage rules that will take effect January 1, 2018. These rules will create a "stress test" that means borrowers will have to qualify at a higher rate than they will be able to get from lending institutions.  Canada's bank regulators feel this will give Buyers a cushion in case rates increase by the time they have to renew their mortgages. It will also mean that most buyers will lose about 20% of their buying power! This has forced many buyers to accelerate their home purchase which is the reason we are seeing record sales levels in November and December. How will this affect the Canadian Real Estate Market and will it have the same effect on our Victoria market?

While the "stress test" will mean less buyers at the beginning of the year I do not feel it will affect our overall prices.  There will be less buyers the first few months but with historically low inventory levels plus seasonal low levels I don't foresee any drastic changes in our prices. The Canadian Real Estate market is more likely to see price adjustments but as I often point out, Victoria is a limited market and the most desirable place in Canada to live. More people would like to live here than we can accommodate.  I think 2018 will see a decrease in the number of sales but after a slow start we should see about a 10% rise in prices by the end of 2018.

Whether you buy or sell in 2018 the market can be good for you.  With good advice from a Real Estate Professional you can get top value for your home.  It may take a little work but homes that show well sell well. With fewer buyers around next year it should be a little easier to find the perfect or near perfect home in 2018.  Market knowledge and an eye on the market along with professional advice and service are a great asset in the buying process. With my advice and guidance we can make 2018 a win-win market. Feel free to call or email with any Real Estate Questions. 250-588-6169 or

My 2018 Calendar


I hope you enjoy my 2017 Calendar. 2018 is finished and hopefully you have one by now.  We had great sunny weather in Spain in January. We did a week of leisure bicycling ( the usual tourist stops (Barcelona, Granada, etc.) on before and after. The weather was great, the food & wine good and it was a relatively inexpensive holiday. Our fall trip to the UK included an 8 day self-guided walk from Oxford to Bath and then a week at Lavenham in Suffolk. The walk was one of the best holidays I can remember.

I enjoyed making this year’s calendar as if lets me re-live the trips. If you did not get a 2018 year and would like one of these hand make calendars of my travel photos please call or email.

I'm not sure if anyone looked at the additional photos I post but I enjoyed doing it and re-living the experiences one more time!  “Every Picture Tells a Story” is my way of sharing more than just the calendar photos from my travels. Maybe the photos will inspire you to visit one of the areas.  Simply visit and share my travels.

Have a great New Year,

Philip Illingworth


                                     Victoria Vacancy Rates flat but Rents Up

Annual Victoria rental market published.  The vacancy rate is virtually unchanged but the average rental price is up 7.7%.  The inner areas of the city show below average vacancy rates and higher rental prices. The shift away from home ownership has placed strong demand on the rental supply. Rents have increased as a result of strong demand without a proportional increase in supply.  Details

Philip Illingworth


Sales to Active Listing Ratio to end of February 2018 - The Sellers' market remains strong with the continued trend of low inventory and high demand. For the foreseeable future we should stay in the 40% to 50% range.  So far the new mortgage qualifications with come into effect January 1, 2018 do not seem to have slowed the Victoria Real Estate Market with it's historic low inventory.

This chart tracks the ratio of total residential sales over total active residential listings at month-end for each of the last 25 months.

The active listing count and the sales count can be viewed as indicators of housing supply and demand respectively. Observing the ratio between them can thus help indicate a "buyers' market", where there is downward pressure on prices, and a "sellers' market", where there is upward pressure on prices.

- below 10%, there is downward pressure on prices (buyers' market)

- above 25%, there is upward pressure on prices (sellers' market)

- in the 15-20% range, there is little pressure on prices either way (balanced market)

Please call with any real estate questions.

Philip Illingworth


                                 Victoria Real Estate Board


Victoria Real Estate Market Adapts to Changing Policy Landscape Demand

March 1, 2018 Victoria BC -A total of 545 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 19.3 per cent fewer than the 675 properties sold in February last year. The sales of condominiums were down 15.5 per cent from last year in February with 174 units sold. Single family homes were 24.4 per cent down from the year previous, with 260 sold this February.

"We certainly anticipated that we would see some lower numbers this year compared to last," says Victoria Real Estate Board President. "Right now prospective home buyers are met with many hurdles as they start shopping for their new home. They're in a market that's experienced long-term low inventory, which means more price pressure and competition on homes. Buyers are navigating increasing interest rates and the new mortgage stress test. These factors all combine to constrain our market. Like any changes to consumer experience, there is a period of response before consumers adapt to the new rules. We saw an increase in buyers in November and December who bought early to avoid the mortgage stress test, and this likely means less buyers in the current market. However, with continued historical low inventory levels, demand is still outpacing supply."

There were a total of 1,545 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2018, an increase of 3.6 per cent compared to the month of January and 0.5 per cent more than the 1,537 active listings for sale at the end of February 2017.

"The provincial government recently rolled out its budget, which includes an admirable commitment to spend six billion dollars to build 114,000 units in ten years," adds the President. "These units will take years to come to market, and it is difficult to predict how many we will see in Victoria. The government needs a long-term approach to supply needs in our area, and that initial commitment is a good start. A reasonable way to bolster their commitment and improve current conditions is for the province to work with our municipalities to reduce the timelines and costs associated with bringing new housing to our market."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2017 was $771,100, while the benchmark value for the same home in February 2018 increased by 9 per cent to $840,300, slightly higher than January's value of $831,900. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in February 2017 was $394,400, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in February 2018 increased by 19.85 per cent to $472,600, which is slightly higher than January's value of $460,500.

About VREB - The Victoria Real Estate Board was founded in 1921 and since that time has been a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs aimed at enhancing the professionalism and community standing of REALTORS®. Formation of the Board grew out of the realization in the early part of the last century that there was a need to establish basic standards for those working in the real estate industry.


View our press release and summary here.

View our complete statistical package here.

Notes for Interpreting Our Statistics

The use of sale price statistics can be useful in establishing trends when applied over a period of time, i.e. six months or longer. The Victoria Real Estate Board cautions, however, that such information does not indicate the actual value of any particular property. Those requiring specific information on property values should contact a REALTOR®.




  B.C. Real Estate Association


New Mortgage Qualification Rules Temper Housing Demand

Vancouver, BC –March 14, 2018   The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 6,206 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province in February, a 5.7 per cent decrease from the same period last year. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $748,327, up 8.8 per cent from the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was $4.64 billion, a 2.6 per cent increase from February 2017.

“More stringent mortgage qualification rules for conventional borrowers are dampening housing demand in the province,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Since the new rules came into effect, BC home sales have fallen more than 26 per cent, on a seasonally adjusted basis.”

Previous mortgage policy tightening has negatively impacted housing demand for a period of four to seven months, with the largest impact occurring in the third month after implementation.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 15.9 per cent to $8.47 billion, compared with the same period in 2017. Residential unit sales increased 4.1 per cent to 11,516 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 11.3 per cent to $735,755.

Full Details

Mortgage Rate Forecast - March 2018

Vancouver, BC –March 2018  

The Highlights:

  • The Path of Canadian Inflating will dentine mortgage rates over the next year

  • Canadian economy slowed in the second half of 2017

  • Bank of Canada to weigh impact of higher rates and mortgage rules before acting



Full Details

BC Housing Demand to Slow Through 2019

Vancouver, BC –March 9, 2018   The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2017 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to decline 8.6 per cent to 94,855 units in 2018, after decreasing 7.5 per cent in 2017. A record 112,209 unit sales were recorded in 2016. The ten-year average for MLS® residential sales in BC is 84,800 units. Strong employment growth, consumer confidence and favourable demographics have been highly supportive of housing demand over the last four years. However, slower economic growth, tougher mortgage qualification rules, and a rising interest rate environment are expected to slow the pace of housing demand over the next two years.

“Housing demand in the province is expected to moderate this year and in 2019,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “More stringent mortgage qualifications and rising interest rates will further erode affordability and household purchasing power.”

The 5-year qualifying rate is forecast to rise 35 basis points to 5.49 per cent by Q4 2018, and another 21 basis points to 5.70 per cent by Q4 2019. “With home prices already at an elevated level, BC households are more vulnerable to rising interest rates.”

The supply of homes for sale continues to trend at or near decade lows in most BC regions. However, this condition hasn’t gone unnoticed by home builders. There are over 60,000 homes now under construction in the province, well above the previous peak of 45,000 units recorded in 2008. In Metro Vancouver, over 42,000 units are in the pipeline, 56 per cent more than recorded in 2008. Slowing consumer demand combined with a surge in new home completions over the next several quarters will create more balance in the housing market and produce less upward pressure on home prices. The average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to increase 6.0 per cent to $752,000 this year, and a further 4.0 per cent to $781,800 in 2019.

Full Details




 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation


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Philip Illingworth
DFH Real Estate Ltd.
Phone        250-477-7291
Toll Free    800-668-2272

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