Interest Rates Influence Victoria’s Real Estate Market: October 2023 Market Update

November 4, 2023

The Victoria Real Estate market has always been a subject of interest, and the developments in October 2023 have added more layers to the narrative. With a 15.2 percent drop in property sales compared to the previous year, it’s apparent that various elements are at play in shaping the real estate landscape. In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll delve deeper into the significant factors influencing the market and their potential implications for both buyers and sellers.

In October 2023, a total of 407 properties were sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region, marking a 15.2 percent decrease compared to October 2022. Furthermore, this figure represents a 17.4 percent decline from September 2023. The decline in property sales is a complex issue influenced by several factors that intertwine to create a unique market dynamic.

One of the prominent factors contributing to the fall in property sales is the impact of interest rates. According to Graden Sol, the Chair of the Victoria Real Estate Board, consumers are navigating interest rates that haven’t been seen in nearly two decades. The Bank of Canada’s rate announcement in mid-October introduced a level of uncertainty into the market. Buyers were left in a state of hesitation, unsure whether rates would rise again or remain stable. In such situations, consumers tend to postpone their purchasing plans until the direction of interest rates becomes clearer. Historically, periods of stable interest rates have bolstered consumer confidence and led to increased sales, while rising rates tend to suppress it.

In October 2023, the market witnessed a substantial growth in the number of active listings available for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service. There were 2,756 active listings at the end of the month, reflecting a 2.1 percent increase compared to the previous month and a remarkable 25.7 percent increase from the same time in 2022. This uptick in inventory is encouraging for potential buyers, as it provides a wider selection of properties than has been seen in recent years. It’s indicative of a shifting market dynamic, which may be transitioning to a more favorable environment for buyers.

The Multiple Listing Service Home Price Index (HPI) benchmarks offer insights into the trends in property values. In October 2022, the benchmark value for a single-family home in the Victoria Core was $1,257,100. By October 2023, this benchmark had increased by 3.9 percent to $1,305,900, although it was slightly down from September’s value of $1,312,200. For condominiums, the benchmark value in October 2022 was $575,300, and it increased by 1.8 percent to $585,600 by October 2023, though it experienced a slight dip from September’s value of $589,600.

The real estate market in Victoria is in a state of flux, and October 2023 has witnessed significant changes. The interplay of declining property sales, interest rate fluctuations, and a growing inventory creates an environment rich with opportunities for both buyers and sellers. While property values have shown growth, the future trajectory remains uncertain. As the market continues to evolve, it’s crucial for buyers and sellers to stay informed, exercise patience, and collaborate closely with their local REALTORĀ® to navigate these shifting dynamics. Whether you’re a potential buyer looking to capitalize on a growing inventory or a seller aiming to make the most of rising property values, strategic planning and professional guidance will be pivotal in achieving your real estate goals. Keep a close watch on market developments, and adapt your strategy accordingly to make the most of this evolving real estate landscape.