The Victorian property market is finally calming down, but it's too late for some

The Victorian property market is finally calming down, but it’s too late for some

People who have delved into the property market in Greater Victoria reflect on their sometimes disturbing experiences when homes have been consistently overpriced.

The property market in Victoria is going through a transitional phase with prices falling slightly while options are increasing, the chairman of Property Victoria said on Wednesday.

Karen Denny Smith said the market, which has seen low inventories, lightning fast deals, high demand and high prices over the past two years, is beginning to return to a more normal pace. “The good news from this is that we are seeing stock again.”

Sales figures released by the board of directors on Wednesday showed there were 1,776 listings in the region at the end of the month, an increase of 30 percent over the same period last year.

Dinnie-Smyth said that if inventory continues to increase while sales remain flat, prices will likely go down or down.

This may come too late for some buyers.

Over the past couple of years, the scarcity of available properties coupled with great demand has led to fierce competition, with selling prices exceeding demand.

Eric Looper recently bought his first home after losing a series of bidding wars over the past two years. Some lost because of pricing and some because of financing terms.

Lauber said he’s gone from looking for homes to being forced to settle in a one-bedroom apartment, with prices up about 50 percent. “We lowered our expectations and started looking for apartments in Langford. We found one we liked, saw it the day it was listed, and made an unconditional offer that evening.”

He got this property, but it was the same price as the country house he had bid for six months earlier, even though it was half the size and ten years older.

“Imagine, you have 15 minutes to look at the property before making an unconditional offer and depositing $20,000. The biggest decision you ever make, and you have minutes to make,” he said, noting that “buyer’s remorse” began the moment the agreement was signed. leaves.

He said they ask themselves if they have paid too much, and what happens if the market collapses. In addition, interest rates began to rise. We’ve endured two interest rate increases already, and we haven’t even made our first mortgage payment yet.”

Intent on staying long-term, Loeper said, he is committed to buying satisfaction.

But he wants to see changes to prioritize those who buy their primary residence, rather than the interest of the companies, multiple landlords and international buyers he has often competed with. He said that buyers like him are “looking for a place to live and raise a family, not to make a profit”.

It advocates canceling blind bidding and requiring sellers to provide a home inspection and proof of insurance potential so that these terms can be removed for all.

Kelly Carter, a retired Armed Forces veteran, said he left the area after renting for five years and couldn’t find a home to buy. Carter had set aside $100,000 for the down payment and a monthly income of about $3,000, but he found nothing but mobile homes in my price range. “I didn’t want to go back to Alberta, as I started to love the area. But I must if I wanted to go back to being a landlord again, and get out of my tenant predicament.”

Carter ended up buying an apartment in Red Deer, Alta. for $240 thousand; He saw characteristics similar to twice that and more in the greater Victoria area.

Another potential buyer, Kathy McGillivray, said she was angry and frustrated by the price jumps over the past two years. “My dream of buying a little house; townhouse, gone. Up to the apartment now, I’m gone,” she said. “I was breathing hard as things changed and kept going up.”

In some cases, McGillivray said, they have been bid on tens of thousands of dollars and cash offers. “I don’t know how young people will pay to buy in Victoria without parental help or inheritance. How can we expect to keep it here?”

Stella Garcia rents but has been trying to buy for over a year, only to see the price of apartments jump from $330,000 to $498,000 a year. It has been bid multiple times. “Never in my life did I think I’d try to buy an apartment for $450,000. I’m a widow in my fifties and $450,000 is way beyond my budget. But what choice do I have? I have no choice but to spend beyond what I can afford, or leave the county.”

British Columbia’s Financial Services Authority has recommended the province adopt a three-day “cooling off” period to protect home buyers.

The BCFSA advises that sellers are required to provide reasonable access to inspect the property during the three days, which will begin the day after the offer is accepted.

Additional recommendations include a five-day “pre-offer” period after the property is listed, when the seller cannot accept any offers.

Denny Smith said the board agrees with the five-day pre-show recommendation, though she notes that the BCFSA report leaves procedural questions unanswered.

She said the government needed to conduct more consultations with the industry to ensure the changes did not have negative consequences for consumers or the market.

aduffy@timescolonist.com

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2022-06-02 12:15:00

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