Reid James introduced Sandi-Jo Ayers who is the current president of the Victoria Real Estate Board.  Sandi-Jo was born and raised in Banff, Alberta and one of her first passions was competitive figure skating.  It was this sport that first brought her to Victoria where she worked and then toured with Walt Disney's World on Ice in the 1980"s.  She dhas been a director at the Board for the past four years and is embarking on her second decade as a licensed Realtor in the region.
Sandi-Jo explained that the directors of the Victoria Real Estate Board are all volunteers that manage  a small staff and are responsible for the MLS service in Victoria.  She outlined the HPI (home price index) was the principal tool used to collect data on the market and what she would be referencing in her talk.
So what's selling? 
Three major factors have impacted the market according to the Real Estate Board.  They include the following:
  • Foreign Buyers Tax
  • Speculation Tax
  • B-20 Stress Test for mortgage applicants brought in by the federal government
There was a market peak in 2018 and then the introduction of these taxes had a significant impact on the market.  In 2018, the single family home average benchmark price was $860,000.  In 2019 it dropped to $855,000.  On the other hand, condo's and town homes increased from $505,000 average benchmark price to $520,000.  This was a result of a lack of inventory plus many buyers looking for a single family home were forced to look at condos/townhomes primarily due to the B20 mortgage stress test.
Inventory versus Sales
Inventory peaked over May-June in 2019 and then dropped from September on.   Single family homes declined in the core municipalities but grew in the Western Communities and as far out as Sooke.  Consumers looking to buy a single family were being pushed more and more out of the core.  With respect to condos/town homes, the bulk of the inventory is in Victoria/Vic West/View Royal and with first time buyers opting out of single family homes for condos, significant pressure occurred in the market place with multiple offers happening on a regular basis.
Whose buying?
  • 89.96 % are B.C. Residents
  • 8.5% are from other Canadian Provinces
  • 1.47% are foreign buyers.
Primary Motive?
  • First time buyers  -  23%
  • Those wanted a larger home - 13%
  • Those downsizing - 8%
Harbourside provided 5 meals at Our Place in Sandi-Jo's name to thank her for the presentation.