Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | November 6, 2012

Listen Close

If you have been procrastinating about purchasing, this is the time to get off the fence and make it happen. There is no better time to purchase than when the market is flat.

Want the best price available? Shop when no one else is buying. Simple

Did you see the la

The number of home sales in the capital region slid by 25 per cent and the  total value of home sales dropped by 27 per cent in October, compared with the  same month a year ago.

The changes are less dramatic when the first 10 months of this year are  compared with the same period last year, however. Sales numbers are down by 2.5  per cent and total values dropped by 5.4 per cent.

Local, provincial and national real estate organizations all point to tighter  federal mortgage rules that arrived in July as a factor in fewer home sales.

“Federal measures to slow real estate sales nationally are having a local  effect,” Victoria board president Carol Crabb said Thursday. 

Mortgage rules for government-insured mortgages were tightened, with the  maximum amortization reduced to 25 years from 30. “Many buyers are having  trouble getting financing for the type of home that fits their needs,  particularly first-time buyers,” said Crabb, who also pointed to differences  within the region.

Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt and Oak Bay have seen flat sales and prices,  while sales are down on the Saanich Peninsula, and sales and prices are lower on  the West Shore.

This year’s sales numbers in the capital region peaked in May at 636 and have  declined every month since. October ended with 344 residential sales through the  Victoria Real Estate Board, down from 461 in October 2011. The total dollar  value of those sales dropped to $159.7 million last month, compared to $219.3  million in October 2011.

The average sale price of a single-family house in Greater Victoria was  $592,097 last month, down from $595,836 in October 2011. 

Scott Travelbea of Travelbea and Associates with Dominion Lending Centres  said federal rules have affected the high end of the market more than in the  past, because buyers need 20 per cent or more as a down payment.

Shorter amortization means higher monthly payments, he said. “People are  adjusting their expectations of what they can pay on a monthly basis.”

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