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Victoria, BC Market Update: Renters’ Bill of Rights, New Infrastructure Fund, & Spring Market Activity

There was a considerable jump in activity from February to March this year but total properties sold have been relatively similar to the numbers from last year’s Q1.

A positive we are seeing is the additional supply coming to the market. This is good news for both buyers and sellers.

Victoria Real Estate Board’s February 2024 Market Statistics

Previous Year

(Mar 2023)

Properties Sold:

590

Active Listings:

1,970

Benchmark Single Family:

$1,258,300

Benchmark Condo:

$549,900

Previous Month

(Feb 2024)

Properties Sold:

470

Active Listings:

2,364

Benchmark Single Family:

$1,247,400

Benchmark Condo:

$557,000

Current Stats

(Mar 2024)

Properties Sold:

588

Active Listings:

2,647

Benchmark Single Family:

$1,279,300

Benchmark Condo:

$567,300

Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement Schedule for 2024

Everyone is anticipating a busy spring market, with the rates expected to drop later in the year.

Many buyers are looking to secure their home before the rates decrease, and we are even seeing more people return to variable rate mortgages.

As we’ve mentioned in other videos, we don’t anticipate a drastic jump in pricing when interest rates decrease due to our inventory levels.

If the number of active and new listings remains at a reasonable level, it’s unlikely we’ll experience the massive jumps in sale prices that were characteristic of the “COVID” market.

January 24: Hold at Policy Rate of 5%

March 6: Hold at Policy Rate of 5%

April 10: TBA

June 5: TBA

July 24: TBA

September 4: TBA

October 23: TBA

December 11: TBA

Renters’ Bill of Rights

There have been two major announcements from the federal government this month.

Starting off with the Renters’ Bill of Rights. This has yet to be introduced as official legislation but it is intended to increase protection for tenants.

Part of this includes talk of having rent contribute towards renters’ credit score. If you have a long history of being on time with rent, this could help you obtain a mortgage approval and other loans.

Another topic being explored is requiring landlords to provide prospective tenants with a history of the rent charged for the property in question, with the idea that this would help renters negotiate on their rent. Personally, we don’t see rental negotiations happening in Victoria unless there is an influx of rental supply.

This bill is also talking about making changes to prevent bad faith evictions. The most common situation seen in a bad faith eviction is an eviction for landlord use of the property, in which a landlord, or their immediate family, is required to occupy the unit for six months prior to re-renting. This scenario is not by itself considered a bad faith eviction, however, there is talk of pushing the requirement out to 12 months to prevent landlords from using this as a tactic purely to remove tenants that are paying below market rent.

Lastly, a large part of this conversation is cutting down Residential Tenancy Board (RTB) wait times. Currently it takes close to a year to get a hearing, which is detrimental to tenants and landlords.

New Infrastructure Fund ($6B Pledge)

The second major announcement was the Liberal Government’s pledge of $6 billion for housing in a new infrastructure fund.

This fund will be available to provinces that make certain commitments such as developing for “missing middle” homes and imposing a three-year freeze on development charges for cities with more than 300,000 people. This fund will be given to qualifying provinces to help with infrastructure upgrades, such as water and sewer, and will take place beginning of 2025.

With the federal election looming next year, the Liberals seem to be pushing to improve their polling and are focusing their efforts on housing.

Being boots on the ground, we are appreciative of the focus to improve affordability for those looking to enter the housing market. General consensus is that much of the new legislation relating to improving affordability has been too little too late, or missing the mark entirely, so it will be interesting to see how these announcements progress.

Next Steps?

Homeowners: Contact us for a free, no-obligation home equity check to gain a deeper understanding of your position in the market. 

Buyers: We’re here to help, no matter what stage you’re at, to determine the most effective pathway towards achieving your real estate goals. 

Contact us: 250-634-2141 (call or text) or [email protected]

Schedule a call with us.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter & receive our Buyer’s and Seller’s Guides (PDFs).

With gratitude,

Alex Hughes* and Ricki-Lee Jewell, Victoria, BC Real Estate Agents

*Personal Real Estate Corporation

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