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Victoria bucks trend as home prices keep rising

Metro Vancouver and Kelowna prices were lower in June than a month earlier but continued to increase in Victoria, B.C.’s largest market outside of the Lower Mainland.
Castanet for-sale-sold-1._p3602726
Photo supplied by Castanet, Kelowna.

B.C. capital city is bucking a provincewide trend as housing prices rose in June from a month earlier even as sales slowed.

Transactions through the Victoria Real Estate Board declined to 612 in June from 761 in May and 942 in June of last year, the board said in its latest monthly report.

Yet the price for a Victoria detached house in Victoria this June was $1,446,400, up 23.6 per cent from a year earlier and posted a modest $20,000 increase from May 2022. The typical Victoria condominium price, benchmarked at $643,100, was up about $10,000 in value from a month earlier.

The increases are not uniform, however.

Daniel Clover, a real estate agent with Re/Max Camosun, said that he’s hearing from other Victoria-area agents about dropping prices on some properties, including a recent case where a condominium’s price was reduced by $30,000 before it finally sold.

But Greater Victoria remains a popular destination and bidding wars are continuing for entry-level properties, Clover added.

In Kelowna, the second- largest market outside of the Lower Mainland, the June benchmark price of a single-family house dropped for a second straight month for the first time in four years.

The Association of Interior Realtors (AIR) released its June statistics July 6, and they showed the single-family benchmark price fell to $1,112,400. That represented a 1.5 per cent drop after a 0.1 per cent decrease in May. The last time the Central Okanagan single-family price fell in back-to-back months was in October and November of 2018.

Residential real estate sales also slowed across the entire AIR region last month, a 30.3 per cent decrease compared to June 2021 that the association blamed on Bank of Canada’s recent interest rate increases.

“It’s not unusual that mortgage rates are impacting market activity, specifically in the higher-priced markets,” AIR president Lyndi Cruickshank said in a press release. “This is what typically happens when interest rates move upward. It makes buying a home more costly, making what a purchaser can afford more limited.

“However, this shift is creating a welcome opportunity for buyers to slow down in their decision making, which is a welcome relief for many,” she added.”

  • With files from Times Colonist, Castanet.