Bruce McCallum, REALTOR®

Homes In Victoria


Price Pressure Continues

Inventory Levels Rise

June 1, 2018  A total of 755 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this May, 25 per cent fewer than the 1,006   properties sold in May of last year, and a 2.5 per cent decrease from April 2018. The sales of condominiums were down 17.4 per cent from last year in May with 237 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 23 per cent from 2017 with 406 sold this May.


"It's no surprise that our current market is very different than it was last year," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "Due to recent changes in mortgage qualification rules, many buyers' purchasing power has been reduced. Unfortunately, in our area we have one third fewer single family homes for sale under $750,000 when compared to last year, so we're seeing pressure from increased competition on a smaller number of homes, which is really pushing the under million dollar market.


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in May 2017 was $820,800, while the benchmark value for the same home in May 2018 increased by 7 per cent to $878,100, higher than April's value of $866,700. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in May 2017 was $426,900, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in May 2018 increased by 15.7 per cent to $493,900, slightly lower than April's value of $495,100.


For a full report from the Victoria Real Estate Board: CLICK HERE

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Vancouver, BC – February 15, 2018. 

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 5,306 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province in January, an increase of 18.3 per cent from the same period last year. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $721,477, up 16.2 per cent from the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was $3.83 billion, a 37.4 per cent increase from January 2017.




Buying or selling real estate? Team up with a professional:

Bruce McCallum, REALTOR®, DFH Real Estate, Victoria, BC

(250) 858-5762 or email:



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I have a client who is in the market to buy a condo for an investment. In our search throughout the Victoria area, we've come across several that are FREEHOLD STRATA condos and just a handful of LEASEHOLD STRATA.


When commenting that they did NOT prefer Freehold, I thought that they were confusing the term with LEASEHOLD. Indeed, they were. Actually, when buying a condo, it's better to stick with FREEHOLD. Why? It's because you actually own your own condo as opposed to leasing your portion of ownership.


Confused? That's OK, because many buyers and sellers don't deal with sales or purchases on a regular basis. As a Realtor®, I run across this constantly and that's my role: to help you as the consumer.


So, here's a good link that explains the differences but a lot more: CLICK HERE.


Thanks for reading this and as always, let me know how I can help you in your next purchase or sale.

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Victoria Real Estate Market Strong to the End of 2017

January 2, 2018  

A total of 462 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 1.9 per cent fewer than the 471 properties sold in December last year.


2017 sales came in at 21.7 per cent over the ten year average of 7,349 properties sold.


"Early in 2017 we discussed how the Victoria area housing market would be different than the record breaking year we had in 2016 and that over the course of the year we'd probably see a gradual return to a more balanced market. We did see evidence of this change come early in the year, as multiple offers and rapid price increases leveled out," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. "However, the ongoing low inventory of properties for sale meant that buyers continued to experience competitive situations in high demand areas, and multiple offers were still a common occurrence as buyers negotiated in a tighter market. What we couldn't anticipate were outside factors such as changes to mortgage qualifying rules that may have pushed people into the market early. The pending mortgage stress test in particular is likely to have caused much of the increased activity we've seen in November and December."


There were 1,384 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2017, a decrease of 21.5 per cent compared to the month of November and 7.3 per cent fewer than the 1,493 active listings for sale at the end of December 2016. This is the lowest level of inventory for the area in the month of December since the statistic was tracked in 1996.


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2016 was $753,900. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2017 has increased by 9.3 per cent to $823,800, and is slightly lower than November's value of $824,600.

"Overall, the low inventory and the continued interest in Victoria real estate meant that well-priced homes were quick to sell in 2017. Moving forward, we expect to see more inventory come into the market, which will continue to move us toward a more balanced state," adds President Balabanian. "We also expect housing prices to remain stable, without the increases we tracked in 2016, and anticipate steady slow growth.

CLICK HERE For a full report from the Victoria Real Estate Board

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According to the BCREA (British Columbia Real Estate Assoaciation), the number of home sales in BC have increased 9.9% over the same period in 2016. The average MLS residential price for homes sold have increased 18% from September 2016.


BCREA Homes Sales


Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist:


“Total active listings on the market continue to trend at ten-year lows in most BC regions, limiting unit sales and pushing home prices higher. While the economic fundamentals support elevated housing demand, rising home prices are eroding affordability, particularly for first-time buyers.”




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Years ago, there was a commercial for hambugers ... (commercials were better before cell phones)... the famous line "where's the beef?" caught us by storm and made so much sense!


That same question can be applied to so many situations today (jeez, what's happening in that big White House!) but, for right now, I thought a quick, to-the-point email about real estate in Victoria would be appropriate...


Here's the beef: May 2017 vs May 2016 Victoria, BC


Active Listings - down 21% - historically low inventory

Properties Sold - down 22% - low inventory limits sales

Home Price Index - up 17% - buyers demand increases price

Homes are selling QUICKLY!

Message: It’s a great time to SELL


Contact Bruce or here’s a link to a stats report:






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As a home buyer, you might have to pay PTT (Property Transfer Tax)

If you are planning a move and are trying to calculate all the expenses you might have, don't forget that as a home buyer, you may be subject to a Property Transfer Tax. It's based on the purchase price of the property.

For complete details on PTT, CLICK HERE.


As there are many different situations (first-time home buyers, non-residents in BC, etc.), there may be a reduction or exemption in the PTT. However, for many home buyers, the Property Transfer Tax will be equal to 1% of the first $200,000 plus 2% of the amount from $200,001 to $2 Million plus any amount over $2,000,001 will be charged at 3%


Want a PTT calculator to make it simple? CLICK HERE


First-time home buyer? CLICK HERE


It's just another detail that you should budget for.


Happy Home Hunting!


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Lack of homes for sale in Victoria, BC
are making local prices rise.

Active Listings in February 2017 DOWN 40% from 2016


Inventory levels edged lower, with 1,537 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2017, 40 per cent fewer than the 2,562 active listings at the end of February 2016.

Says 2017 Board President Ara Balabanian:

"In spite of the low inventory the real estate market in Victoria is robust. The ten year average for sales in February is 542, so we are well within expected numbers for this time of the year with 675 properties sold. In fact, this February's sales are the second highest in the past ten years. "

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2016 was $638,700. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2017 has increased by 21.3 per cent to $775,000.

"The low number of homes for sale in our marketplace can put pressure on pricing," adds President Balabanian. "The good news is we have seen an increase in new listings this month over January. January saw 753 new listings, while February's count was 880. This time last year there were 1,160 new listings, so we'll be watching the numbers in March closely to see if more sellers decide to get into the market as spring arrives."

For full report, send request to:





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Homes for sale in BC during January 2017

While Victoria, BC remains a very strong SELLER's market because of historically low inventory levels, Vancouver is going through a cooling period due to tightening of mortgage rules and the 15% non-resident tax.


For a full report on Victoria's real estate market, click on:


To see the video report click on the image below






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There is a lack of homes for sale in Victoria



There are several reasons that it's so hard to find homes for sale; take a look at what might be the main drivers of lack of inventory. Young couple vs Older couple:

  1. Many homeowners in Victoria wish to move up because they have more children on the way and need a larger place. Selling might be easy. It's the buying back into the market that's the hard part. For example, a young couple who bought a few years ago for $500,000 now need a larger home closer to a school. Let's say the couple might be able to sell for $600,000 a whopping $100,000 over what they paid. Pretty good return for a few years! The couple now begins to look for a larger home and discovers that the "perfect" place to raise a family that's near school and shopping etc. has risen to $750,000; maybe out of reach for them to finance as they have the same jobs and little pay increases. So they think "why sell when we can't afford to buy?" And, this example is not uncommon.

  2. Older homeowners (now empty nesters) are looking to downsize. An older professional couple who has lived in Vancouver for a number of years and enjoyed their home while raising their kids. 20 years ago it was affordable to buy thier home and now the investment has paid off handsomely; their "profit" is surprisingly large with the heated Vancouver real estate market of Buyers. Their mortgage was paid off years ago, the couple is flush with cash and looks towards finding a quiet place on Vancouver Island. To their surprise, they find that the home of their dreams can be bought for far less than what they sold the Vancouver home for. With a cash sale and short completion, they are on their way to the "Island Life" and, once again, the inventory of homes for sale is reduced.

There are other reasons for the lack of
homes for sale in Victoria
but these two appear more frequently
as we approach the spring market.


What to do?

Although it's hard to deal with this if you are a Buyer, these tips will help you during a period of "temporary insanity".

  1. Take a deep breath & plan. Don't jump into panic mode. Don't listen to rumors.

  2. Speak to a financial advisor and discuss what you could afford if you moved.

  3. Choose a Realtor® you can trust to give accurate pricing info should you sell.

  4. Take a hard look at what you could sell at & what it's going to cost to buy.

  5. If you can't afford to buy your dream home, consider downsizing.

  6. If you need a larger home, consider a different area of town.

  7. If buying is not an option, consider renovating to accommodate your needs.

  8. If none of the above work, take a pause; maybe prices will stabilize.


For more information on Victoria's real estate market or if you have a question:

Bruce McCallum, REALTOR®   DFH Real Estate

Victoria, BC Canada

(250) 858-5762









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High Demand Continues as Inventory Shrinks
in the Victoria Housing Market

December 1, 2016, Victoria, BC

A total of 599 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this November, 4.5 per cent more than the 573 properties sold in November last year.


Inventory levels remain lower than last year, with 1,815 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of November 2016, 38.5 per cent fewer than the 2,952 active listings at the end of November 2015.


"Our current housing market is in a strong cycle due to many factors, including our current positive economic conditions, baby boomers retiring here, millennial buying cycles, a low Canadian dollar keeping folks closer to home and our favourable living conditions," notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. "These factors and others, in combination with ongoing low inventory mean demand for housing is up, particularly in those areas close to the core and amenities."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in November 2015 was $608,600. The benchmark value for the same home in November 2016 has increased by 23.9 per cent to $753,800.


"Foreign buyers are another factor that affects our local housing market. The provincial government is considering implementation of a local tax on foreign buyers to ensure pressure on pricing from that source remains mitigated," adds President Nugent. "While October data shows an increase in foreign buyers into the Capital Regional District compared to previous months, their 6.3 per cent of property transfers indicate that these buyers are one factor in the marketplace. A much larger factor affecting affordability and availability right now is the lack of inventory. An effective method to address housing affordability issues could be through efforts to increase the supply of housing, either through adjustments to zoning or density."







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Ok, so you've decided to move and have begun the search. Then, all of a sudden, you realize that when you sell, you will be paying off the existing mortage early and there might be fines. What to do?


The answer might be called a PORTABLE MORTGAGE.


Depending on your particular situation, a portable mortgage might eliminate any fees or penalties if you need to create a new mortage. Like the name, a portable mortgage can be moved from one property to another without penalties.


Of course, everyone has their own situation but here's a video to get you started.


Portable Mortgage video


You can also get updates on FaceBook - CLICK HERE

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Just when you think home affordability in Canada begins to get easier, the Finance Minister announces that come October 17, 2016 it's going to be a bit tougher to qualify for financing.The new qualifying rate will be 4.6% which is 2.25% ABOVE current current qualification rates.

This could mean a 20% reduction in your purchasing power. Bottom -line if you qualify for max $500,000 today, after October 17th you'll qualify for max $400,000.


What to do? Contact your financial advisor or I'd be happy to help:

Here are some articles & videos on this topic:…/ottawa-housing-tax-real-estate-1.3788725…/ottawas-moves-to-tighte……/do-ottawa…/article32250068/


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Victoria BC Real Estate Update, Oct 2016
Victoria's real estate has set record sales as most everyone in Western Canada knows and we are still setting records entering October, 2016. Sadly, what's really difficult for Buyers is that the inventory of real estate for sale is the LOWEST SINCE 1996.


Thoughts on how to deal with historically low inventory of homes on the market



Nothing much to do but tidy up and list. Can’t guarantee multiple offers or outrageous profits but the universe is on your side right now.



Take a deep breath and relax. With so few homes for sale on the market, multiple offers and outrageous prices are the norm. Can you really afford that? In say, three to five years, if you had to sell could you afford to lose money if the market went south?


As a professional, here’s my advice:

  1. Meet with your financial advisor, your mortgage person or the bank and do it now
  2. Find out what your limit really is when it comes to a home purchase.
  3. Stick to your budget no matter what. When faced with multiple offers, bid your limit and then stop.
  4. If you can’t find the perfect home in your favorite neighborhood, look in surrounding areas.
  5. Realize that with perhaps a tad more commute, you could find a great home you really can afford.
  6. Live happily ever after!

Click here for a full report from the Victoria Real Estate Board

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From the CBC web site:


The B.C. government took steps Monday to reduce some of the pressure in Metro Vancouver's overheated real estate market, introducing legislation that would add a 15 per cent property transfer tax for foreign nationals buying real estate there.


The new rules take effect Aug. 2 and only apply to home purchases in Metro Vancouver, excluding the treaty lands of the Tsawwassen First Nation.



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Homes in Victoria BC continue to sell: UP 29% over June of 2015.




"June marks the halfway point for 2016. By this time last year (2015) 4,282 properties had sold," notes Mike Nugent, President, Victoria Real Estate Board. "In the same six months this year (2016) 6,181 properties have sold. If sales continue at a similar rate, we may meet the total sales from last year by the end of the summer..."

Victoria real estate hit by "Perfect Storm"

We haven't seen this amount of activity for years. What's causing it? There are a variety of factors that contribute to the 'Sellers Market' we are experiencing:

  • Extremely low inventory of homes for sale
  • Borrowing rates at historic lows
  • Vancouverites cashing in and purchasing in Victoria
  • Seasonal & pent-up demand from active buyers in Victoria



If you have been waiting to sell, now might be the best time.


For a free Competitive Market Analysis of your home, contact:


Bruce McCallum, REALTOR®

DFH Real Estate

Victoria, BC

(250) 858-5762

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