Stephanie Peat DFH Real Estate - Sidney

Office 250-656-0131 | EMAIL info@stephaniepeat.ca |


Why is making a big change in life often so difficult?


According to psychologists, maintaining the "status quo" is one of the most powerful motivations we have. If things are "okay", even making a change for the better can be difficult. Our brains resist.


You may have experienced this if you’ve thought about selling your current property and finding your next dream home. Your house may be "good enough" for you now and the neighbourhood might be "okay" too. So, even if your dream is to get into a better home that's more suited to your family and lifestyle, you may be hesitant.


That's just the way the psychology works.


One way to get around this psychology is to get your dream out of your head and on to paper. Write down the kind of home you'd love to live in next. For example, you may want a detached home, with 3-bedrooms in a family-oriented neighbourhood. Also jot down the specific features and characteristics of the property and neighbourhood such as a goodsized backyard, family-size kitchen, and an easy commute to work. That will help you see the real possibilities.


Next, find out whether getting into a home like this is doable for you right now. Avoid making assumptions. Get the facts. Find out what you can expect to get for your current property, and what you'll need to spend for the new home.


If you discover that moving to your next dream home is something you can swing this year, your hesitancy will likely vanish!


I can help you get the information you need to make the best decision. Call me.

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Chances are, you know that you should change the batteries in your smoke detectors at least once a year — even if you suspect the batteries are still good.


But that isn't the only fire safety check you should do annually. Here are some other recommended tips to help keep you and your family safe.


• Clean your stove burners and oven regularly. Hard grease build-up can become combustible.

• Check your cupboard for cleaning products, paints and other liquids that are flammable. Read each label carefully. Use and store each product only as recommended.

• If you keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen — and you should —confirm that it is still good. Extinguishers are like food. They have expiry dates!

• Go over your fire escape plan with your family. Make sure everyone knows exactly what to do if a smoke detector goes off or if there's a fire. (Don't have a fire escape plan? Make one!)

• Check that all windows open easily, especially upper floor windows.

• Check appliances you use often, such as hair dryers, for worn or frayed cords.

• Regularly clear away lint build-up in the clothes dryer. Check the outside dryer vent annually to make sure it's clear and working correctly.

• If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, get it cleaned and inspected by a licensed technician once a year.


Many local fire departments offer homeowners free tips and even in-home advice and inspections at no cost. Contact your fire department and ask about programs available to you.

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A total of 808 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this June, 9.2 per cent more than the 740 properties sold in June 2019 and 76.8 per cent more than the previous month of May 2020. Sales of condominiums were down 3.2 per cent from June 2019 with 209 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 16.8 per cent from June 2019 with 460 sold.


“This June we saw competing factors from all different sides of the real estate equation,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “If all we do is look at numbers, we see a fairly normal June, in the midst of a very not normal world. The impact of COVID-19 on our entire economy continues. And while some buyers and sellers are slow to emerge from isolation, others have been highly active since the start of Phase 2 of BC’s Restart Plan. Because of the pandemic, an eviction order that prohibited a landlord from ending a tenancy was introduced. The order may have kept some homes from going to market. The portion of this order that prevented a seller from providing vacant possession of a tenanted home was lifted late this month, which may bring some listings to market that had been stalled. Due to the pandemic alone, we have multiple factors influencing the inventory and sales in our market.”


There were 2,698 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of June 2020, 11.3 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of June 2019 but a 6.1 per cent increase from the 2,544 active listings for sale at the end of May 2020.


“Additionally, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation announced changes that start July 1 which will reduce the borrowing power of some buyers who insure through CMHC,” adds Ayers. “This may have pushed some demand forward - although there are alternate suppliers of mortgage insurance. Ongoing low inventory levels also mean that we are seeing a fair number of multiple offers. The condo market is slightly softer in terms of sales numbers. This may be in part due to the recent strata insurance issues which caused concern for owners and sellers. The government promised this month to begin to address the insurance issue, so there may be some relief on the horizon. These are not normal days for local real estate, nor is this month a signal of a return to normal, regardless of the numbers. That said, buyers and sellers are successfully navigating our market with the help of local REALTORS®, who know how to implement health and safety protocols and understand the complexities of our current market. As always, I recommend you consult your Realtor to understand what is happening in the moment.”

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As you may know, curb appeal refers to how your property looks from the street, where potential buyers first see it. Your home’s curb appeal can have a big impact on the sale of your property. In fact, it's not uncommon for a buyer to drive by a listing, rather than stop, because they don't like what they see.


So, how can you improve your home's curb appeal quickly? One way is to do some outside cleaning.


Start with the main entryway. Wash down the front door and sweep (or power wash) the front steps. It only takes a few minutes but you'd be surprised by the impact it can have. Sweep or power wash your walkway too and you’ll improve the overall look of your home — sometimes dramatically.


Clean your front windows to brighten the look of your home’s facade. It doesn't have to be an arduous chore. In fact, there are washing products available that attach to your garden hose. You don't even need a ladder! Ask your local home improvement retailer for recommendations.


If you have hedges and scrubs, give them a trim. To keep your trimming level, use a wide board, or even a piece of cardboard, then cut to the desired height. Pull off any dead leaves or branches. Of course, also mow the lawn!


Finally, inspect your property from the street. Can you see anything else you can do to quickly improve the look? Do you notice anything that is unsightly or distracting, such as garbage bins that could be relocated?


One final tip: When a viewing is scheduled, remove your vehicles from the driveway. Buyers like to see an empty driveway because it helps them imagine themselves living there. It also gives them a convenient place to park!

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Imagine you have a major project at work, you have to deal with home schooling and you still need to deal with groceries, laundry and dinner. Whoa!


That's a busy life.


Can you still find and buy a new home with such a tight schedule? The good news is, you can. In fact, there's plenty you can do to save time.


Consider these tips:


• Get specific about the home you want to buy. Think about property type (for example, "two story, detached"), number of bedrooms and bathrooms, special features, etc.

• Target areas you'd like to live in. That will avoid trips to see listings in areas that aren't a good fit for you.

• Get the financing arranged. You'll be able to shop for a new home with more confidence when you have a pre-arranged mortgage. It will also make your offers stronger.

• Make seeing homes a priority by putting it on your schedule. Look at pictures and watch virtual tours carefully to help narrow down the number of homes you need to visit. Try to block time on the weekend, and ideally one or two evenings a week, to view homes without other distractions.

• Get all the information you need when viewing a property. Take notes. Ask questions. Thoroughly explore the home, yard, and neighbourhood. Get enough information to make a decision without

needing to see the home a second time.


While these time-saving tips can help, the best way to find a home on a busy schedule is to work with a good real estate agent. Want more advice on buying your next dream home? Call today.

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A total of 457 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this May, 46.1 per cent fewer than the 848 properties sold in May 2019 but 59.2 per cent more than the previous month of April 2020. Sales of condominiums were down 55.7 per cent from May 2019 with 108 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 42.9 per cent from May 2019 with 254 sold.


“Our market continues to respond to the current health crisis,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “Activity in real estate right now echoes the activity in our broader community – as restrictions gradually begin to lift - so too have our sales and listings numbers. Of course, like any industry, we do not expect a sudden shift back to any kind of normal. That said, one theme that persists in our market is that well-priced properties in high demand areas continue to see multiple offers. Demand exists and we continue to have motivated buyers searching for their perfect home.”


There were 2,544 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of May 2020, 15.7 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of May 2019 but a 10.4 per cent increase from the 2,305 active listings for sale at the end of April 2020.


“If you’re considering buying or selling a property right now you will find the experience different than pre-pandemic,” adds Ayers. “REALTORS® are doing our part to ensure that there is not a resurgence of COVID-19 in our community by following government health and safety guidelines, by leveraging technology to facilitate many aspects of the real estate transaction virtually and by implementing various clean showing protocols. Your Realtor will navigate the new processes and requirements to keep you, your property and our city safe and healthy.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in May 2019 was $863,000. The benchmark value for the same home in May 2020 increased by 2.6 per cent to $885,400, 0.1 per cent more than April’s value of $884,600. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in May 2019 was $516,400, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in May 2020 increased by 3.5 per cent to $534,300, 0.1 per cent more than the April value of $533,600.

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 A total of 287 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 58.8 per cent fewer than the 696 properties sold in April 2019 and 52.8 per cent fewer than the previous month of March 2020. Sales of condominiums were down 64 per cent from April 2019 with 73 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 55.8 per cent from April 2019 with 163 sold.


“We continue to see the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local real estate market,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “Sales numbers are much lower than what we expected to see this spring and new listings are slow to come to market as owners wait to see what our community’s trajectory is over the course of this pandemic. As a result, the available inventory of properties for sale remains lower than in April last year. Like so many other industries, much of the real estate market is watching, waiting and adapting.”


There were 2,305 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2020, 16.2 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of April 2019 but a 2.4 per cent increase from the 2,252 active listings for sale at the end of March 2020.


“Real estate services and REALTORS® were declared an essential service by our province in March in order to protect consumers who need to make real estate transactions during this time,” adds Ayers. “This responsibility has opened opportunities for our profession to adapt our way of doing business to ensure our community’s health is protected. Technology has allowed us to move much of our work online. Now you can participate in an open house from the comfort of your couch and manage your contracts and negotiations securely online. Of course, the vast majority of transactions still require an in-person showing at some point and so local Realtors are ensuring they are adhering to the advice of the Provincial Health Officer. We know that we are in complex times, but also that some people need to buy and sell. Our message has been and will be moving forward - if you need us, we are here.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2019 was $843,500. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2020 increased by 4.6 per cent to $882,700, 0.6 per cent more than March’s value of $877,700. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in April 2019 was $512,700 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in April 2020 increased by 3.5 per cent to $530,700, 0.2 per cent less than the March value of $531,900.

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Vancouver, BC – April 15, 2020. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 6,717 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March 2020, an increase of 17.2 per cent from March 2019. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $789,548, a 15.1 per cent increase from $685,892 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume in March was $5.3 billion, a 35 per cent increase over 2019.


“Provincial housing markets started the month very strong before the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to activity,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “Activity will slow considerably in April as households and the real estate sector implement measures necessary to mitigate the spread of this virus.”


“While we don’t know when this unprecedented period will end, markets will be boosted by pent-up demand and historically low interest rates when it does,” added Ogmundson. “The ultimate strength of the recovery will depend on how long the economy remains effectively shut down, as well as the efficacy of federal and provincial measures to bridge households through the financial difficulties brought on by the pandemic.”


Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 37.1 per cent to $12.9 billion, compared with the same period in 2019. Residential unit sales increased 21.7 per cent to 16,866 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 12.6 per cent to $763,031.


-30-

For more information, please contact:

Brendon Ogmundson

Chief Economist

Direct: 604.742.2796

Mobile: 604.505.6793

Email: bogmundson@bcrea.bc.ca

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 A total of 608 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, five per cent fewer than the 640 properties sold in March 2019 but eight per cent more than the previous month of February 2020. Sales of condominiums were down 9.2 per cent from March 2019 with 178 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 5.3 per cent from March 2019 with 305 sold.


 “Last month, we stated that we saw the spring market kicking off,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “The start of March continued that trend and we saw higher year over year sales for the first weeks of the month – spring had officially sprung with multiple offers, new listings and sales. And then the world changed. Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, we have tracked a predictable downturn of sales in our market. Moving forward it is hard to predict what our spring market will look like, but it will likely be very different than recent years as our entire community slows down to stay healthy.”


 There were 2,252 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March 2020, 7.5 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of March 2019 but a 5.9 per cent increase from the 2,127 active listings for sale at the end of February 2020.


“Right now, it is not business as usual,” adds Ayers. “Our REALTORS® are working to ensure that services for clients who need them are delivered in a healthy, safe and secure way. Our industry is working with government stakeholders to make sure that transactions that were underway before the pandemic was declared are protected and that homeowners are able to complete sales and purchases. This is a time to ensure our clients are safeguarded as well as to ensure that our community stays healthy. Many Realtors are leveraging new technologies including video home tours and virtual showings. Our message is – if you need us, we are here.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2019 was $836,100. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2020 increased by five per cent to $877,700, 1.1 per cent more than February’s value of $868,100. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in March 2019 was $507,700 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in March 2020 increased by 4.8 per cent to $531,900, 0.9 per cent more than the February value of $527,400

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There's a reason why there are "kitchen and bath" stores, and even design magazines devoted to these rooms. A well-staged kitchen and bathroom can make the entire home look better. So, it's no surprise that professional home stagers pay particular attention to these spaces.


What do these pros have to say about bathrooms?


Professional stagers advise that you start by taking a picture of the room. Looking at that picture will give you a better sense of how others see your bathroom and reveal what needs to be changed.


Then, de-personalize it. When you’re showing your home to buyers, you want the bathroom to resemble a guest bathroom. So, no shaving kits, toothbrushes, sticky notes to self on the mirror, etc.

Stagers also recommend that anything worn be replaced.  This will likely include the shower curtain and mats, which tend to wear and stain quickly.


Hang fresh new towels on the rack. (If you’re buying new towels for this purpose, choose white.) Put an unused bar of soap or hand cleaner next to the sink. Make it look like a freshly stocked hotel bathroom.


If required, paint the walls. Off-white colours, including beiges and light greys, work well.


As you can see, it doesn't take much to stage your bathroom and make it look its best for buyers.

Looking for more staging tips? Call today.

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If you're thinking of listing your property, one thing that might be holding you back is concern about preparing your home for sale. You may be wondering how much work there will be. Is it going to take a couple of months? A couple of weeks? A few days?


That, of course, depends on the state of your property.


However, regardless of how close your home is to “show time” ready, there is plenty you can do to reduce how long that preparation takes. Consider these ideas:


• Sell stuff online. The less cluttered your home seems to buyers, the better it will show. So, make a list of items you want to sell, and then list them on one of the many local online market websites. Price items fairly and, chances are, you'll get rid of everything in a day or two.


• Have a repair day. Go through your home and make a list of everything that needs to be fixed. Then, schedule repair people to all come on the same day. Voila! In one day, all needed repairs (or, at least, most of them) are done.


• Get staging advice. Instead of guessing at what changes you need to make around your home to make it look its best, get expert staging advice. You’ll find out exactly what the experts suggest you do, and you'll save a lot of time and money. (By the way, I can provide you with that advice too.)


• Ask before making big improvements. Are you planning to convert a wood burning fireplace into a gas unit to help sell your home? Before doing any big improvements or renovations like that, talk to me. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an unnecessary project.


• Hire help. You don't have to do everything on your own. Get the help you need. For example, hire a painter, a cleaner, and/or a junk removal service. Those will significantly shorten the time it takes to prepare your home for sale and save you a lot of work. Also, the costs of those professionals may

be off-set by the increase in the sale price of your home.


Bottomline: Preparing your home doesn't need to be overwhelming and time consuming. Contact me for more ideas to help get your home ready for sale, quickly.

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No matter what you think of snakes, you must agree that they have a unique way of dealing with worn-out skin. When the time comes, they simply shed it — like an old jacket — revealing a fresh new skin underneath.


Your home's roof doesn't have that advantage! So, when the shingles wear out or become damaged, you need to have them replaced.


Unfortunately, it's not always easy to determine whether your shingles need replacement right away, or whether you can hold off for another year. Assuming your home has the most common type of shingles — asphalt —here's what to look for:


• Corners upturned on some shingles.

• Missing shingles.

• Shingles lifting during high winds and not settling back into place (flat) within a day or two.

• Heavy accumulation of shingle debris (particles) in the gutters.

• Shingle bits and pieces found on the ground around your home.

• Spots on your roof that still look wet a day or two after a rainfall. (This

could be a sign of water infiltration into the felt or even the roof deck.)


If you have any of these signs, be sure to have a roofing contractor take a closer look.


Before investing in a new roof, be sure to check with the retailer or contractor who supplied the original materials. Your shingles might still be under warranty.


Bottomline: Don't delay. You don't want to wait until you hear drip drip drip before taking action!

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Let's face it. Planning events, even exciting ones like an overseas vacation, be stressful. So, it's not surprising that some homeowners — even those thrilled about moving — can slip into "worry mode" when putting their property up for sale.


Unfortunately, this anxiety can make the process of selling an unpleasant experience. Who wants that? So here are some things you can do to reduce selling stress and enjoy the adventure.


• Understand the selling process. The more you know about the steps involved in selling your home, the less mysterious — and, therefore, less stressful — it will be.


• Give yourself the time you need. Feeling rushed and stressed comes from trying to do too much in too little time. Even if you're selling quickly, it's important to block off sufficient time in your calendar for the things you need to do.


• Take care of yourself. As television psychologist Dr. Phil often points out, you can't give what you don't have. When it comes to selling your home, that means you need to eat well and stay healthy, so you have the energy you need throughout the process.


• Make your home attractive to buyers. That not only means tidying up and doing a little home staging, it also means setting the right listing price. Nothing eliminates the stress of selling more than having flocks of qualified buyers interested in your home.


• Get the help you need. You don't have to do everything on your own. That's why working with me is so advantageous. I take care of the many details for my clients so that they can enjoy the journey.


Sure, there are going to be a few stressful moments. However, the process of listing and selling your property, while looking for your next dream home, can be an exciting experience.


Let me help you. Call today.

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 A total of 563 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 33.7 per cent more than the 421 properties sold in February 2019 and 37 per cent more than in January 2020. Sales of condominiums were up 35.7 per cent from February 2019 with 175 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 23.7 per cent from January 2020 with 271 sold.


“February brought the bloom of an early spring market,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “Sales numbers are up substantially from last year, which in part indicates that our spring market may have arrived a bit earlier than a lot of our local blossoms. Additionally, we need to consider that last year’s sales activity was quite weak until April and May. Despite a thirty plus percent increase in total sales over last year, our ten-year average for total sales in February is 537, so we are within less than five per cent of our long-term average for the month.”


There were 2,127 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2020, 4 properties fewer than the total available at the end of February 2019 and an 8.6 per cent increase from the 1,958 active listings for sale at the end of January 2020.


“One of the most prominent aspects of our market right now is this continued low inventory,” adds Ayers. “Our ten-year average active listings for the month of February is 3,007. We concluded this month with just over 2,000 active listings, which means a lot less choice for consumers, more pressure on pricing and multiple offers.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2019 was $838,800. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2020 increased by 3.5 per cent to $868,100, 1.1 per cent more than January’s value of $858,500. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in February 2019 was $503,600 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in February 2020 increased by 4.7 per cent to $527,400, 1.2 per cent more than the January value of $521,000.

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Imagine you're looking for a new home. You have a list of all the features you want, just like you would have a grocery shopping list. However, when you explore the homes currently on the market, none meets all your criteria.


What do you do? You have a few good options


First, you can take a second look at your list. Does your new home need every single feature on it? Are there one or two features you can do without? For example, can you settle for a smaller kitchen assuming the property has everything else you want?


Often, buying a home that's close to perfect is perfect enough.


Second, consider what features you might be able to add to a home later, by way of a renovation or other improvement. If a property doesn't have a finished basement, for example, you might be able to get that done down the road. Indeed, there are probably many features you can add later to an otherwise desirable property.


Finally, consider the current level of activity in the local real estate market. Is it likely that a lot of new homes will be coming on the market soon? If so, your perfect home may come up on the market within the next few weeks. Maybe even tomorrow!


In that situation, make sure you arrange to get immediate alerts for newly listed homes that meet your criteria. You'll want to jump on each new opportunity before other buyers learn of the listing.


The good news is, in most cases you should be able to find and buy a great home, with most — if not all — of the features you want.

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Two of the biggest stressors for DIYers are projects that cost too much or take too long. Unfortunately, there’s no sure way to guarantee that one or the other (or both) won’t happen. But there is a lot you can do to minimize the probability.


When budgeting, a big mistake DIYers make is not considering the little things. For example, you might budget for drywall panels but neglect to include the cost of nails, tape and plaster. It's easy to overlook these small items thinking they won't add up to much of an expense. But often they do. In fact, for many renovation projects, the little things account for up to 20% of the cost.


Another expense that is often overlooked is taxes. When you find a bathtub you like for $399, be sure to budget for what you'll actually pay out-of-pocket. Also, don't forget possible delivery expenses.


A budgeting tip many experts recommend is to price everything you need and then add 10%. That gives you a buffer.


Regarding scheduling, consider whether or not you've done this type of project before. If you're laying hardwood floors for the first time, there's a learning curve. You'll likely take two or three times longer than you would if you were more experienced.


Even if you have experience with the type of project you’re undertaking, it's human nature to underestimate how long it will take. So, if you feel confident you can install that sink in an hour, give yourself two.


A lot of this, of course, is common sense. But if you take a common sense — rather than an optimistic — approach to budgeting and scheduling, you'll stand a much better chance of your DIY project going smoothly.

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A total of 411 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 24.9 per cent more than the 329 properties sold in January 2019 and 2.2 per cent more than in December 2019. Sales of condominiums were up 6.3 per cent from January 2019 with 118 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 31.6 per cent from January 2019 with 200 sold.


“Our new year is already showing a strong distinction from the year previous,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “We’ve returned to more traditional January sales numbers - which tend to be over 400 sales. Unfortunately, we have not seen a corresponding increase in listings alongside the demand, so buyers in the low- to mid-price segment of our market may find themselves in competition for desirable properties. Our market is challenging and at times like these the services of your local REALTOR® are invaluable.”


There were 1,958 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2020, 6 properties more than the total available at the end of December 2019 and a 4.8 per cent decrease from the 2,057 active listings for sale at the end of January 2019.


“Pressure on our market has been slowly returning,” adds Ayers. “With not enough inventory to satisfy demand, people occupying the middle rung of our property ladder have limited options – which means less movement to make room for those hoping to move or to buy their first homes. Eighteen months ago, the provincial and federal governments introduced demand side measures, which we can now see have not been successful in making homes more attainable in our community. Since demand side measures aren’t working, the Board hopes that all levels of government will turn their attention to supply. Our municipalities working with developers to cut red tape and reduce costs should help to introduce more housing opportunities and alleviate some pressure.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January 2019 was $846,900. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2020 increased by 1.4 per cent to $858,500, 0.4 per cent more than December’s value of $855,000. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in January 2019 was $500,500, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in January 2020 increased by 4.1 per cent to $521,100, slightly more than the December value of $520,700.

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A total of 402 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 7.2 per cent more than the 375 properties sold in December 2018 and a 30.3 per cent decrease from November 2019. Sales of condominiums were up 17.5 per cent from December 2018 with 121 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 13.8 per cent from December 2018 with 198 sold. A grand total of 7,255 properties sold over the course of 2019, 1.47 percent more than the 7,150 that sold in 2018. 2019 sales came in at slightly under the ten-year average of 7,413 properties sold.


“Overall, our market throughout 2019 can be characterized as still active, slow to grow and low in supply,” says 2019 Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. “Last year we saw many prospective buyers sit on the sidelines waiting for inventory to be added. As a result of this unmet demand, there was and continues to be a push from consumers to create townhomes and condos at accessible price points. We began 2019 discussing the potential impact of various taxes and lending rules introduced by the federal and provincial governments that were designed to calm housing market activity - although this activity had already begun to slow following our hyper-active market in 2016/17. The most impactful government change we saw was the tighter mortgage lending rules, which lowered consumer borrowing power and made many unable to qualify for the value of mortgages they had in the past, therefore compressing more demand into our mid- and lower-priced property market.”


There were 1,952 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2019, a decrease of 18.6 per cent compared to the month of November and a 1.8 per cent decrease from the 1,988 active listings for sale at the end of December 2018.


“Constant demand on this middle housing segment has put a moderate amount of pressure on pricing,” adds Woolley. “And although we did not see huge price increases though 2019 like we did in the run up through 2016, we do see buyers entering into multiple offer situations and competing for properties. The high end of the market – over $1.5 million – has been softer, which is nice for a very small percentage of buyers in our area, but difficult on sellers who have seen some equity erode. The theme heading into 2020 does for now appear to be the limited selection of single-family homes and growth in pressure for more condos and townhomes. What remains consistent is that in this complex market, buyers and sellers value the assistance of their REALTOR® to navigate one of the biggest purchases most will make in their lifetime."


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2018 was $860,400. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2019 decreased by 0.6 per cent to $855,000, slightly less than November’s value of $855,400. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in December 2018 was $503,000, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in December 2019 increased by 3.5 per cent to $520,700, slightly more than the November value of $517,000.

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As you can probably guess, when you're preparing to move, you'll need boxes and tape — and, perhaps some bubble-wrap or old newspapers to use as protective wrapping for delicate items.


But that may not be all you need. Take a look at this list and see if you'll want any of these on hand while you’re packing or on moving day.


• Colour markers for labelling boxes. (Tip: Colour coding boxes by room will make unpacking much easier.)

• Stretch wrap to protect larger items that can't fit into a box.

• Small plastic bags to store dis-assembled parts, such as sofa legs, cabinet hardware, etc. (You don't want to lose them!)

• Moving blankets to protect floors.

• A dolly or hand truck to move heavy items. (You can rent these.)

• Mattress moving bag. This helps prevent stains and tears during your move. You can also buy specialty bags for sofas and tables.

• Reusable foam furniture sliders, to protect floors when furniture needs to be pushed into place.

• Foam corner protectors. This prevents furniture with sharp corners from banging and damaging other items during a move.


Planning ahead and having the right packing materials on hand will makeyour move less stressful and, hopefully, damage-free!

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When buyers come to see your home, the first thing they notice is how your property looks from the curb. That first impression is powerful and lingering. If buyers don't like what they see, it can influence how they judge the rest of your property, regardless of how great it looks on the inside. You definitely want to do whatever you can to boost curb appeal. Here are six affordable ideas to consider:


1. Driveway sealing. This makes the pavement look darker and less faded. It also helps cover up some of the cracks. Sealing won't give you the "brand new" look of repaving, but it's close — and significantly less expensive.


2. Exterior window washing. Washing the front windows makes them look clean and bright. In fact, the effect can be stunning. There are window washing products that connect to your hose to make this job easier. Check your home improvement retailer.


3. Maintaining shrubs, hedges and flower beds. Trimming the hedges, shrubs and other evergreens can make a big difference in how your property looks from the street. It's like giving them all a haircut! Flowering plants can also brighten up the look.


4. Front door painting. From the curb, a buyer's eye is naturally drawn to your front door. If your entry system looks old and worn, consider a fresh coat of paint. It can make the entrance look almost new.


5. Garage door painting. This is a bigger project that can take a day or two, but the effort might be worth it. For many homes, the garage door is the biggest item in the curb appeal panorama. Making it look better will have a big impact.


6. Removing unsightly items. Look at your home from the street. Are there items in your field of vision that take away from the curb appeal? For example, are there garbage cans and other items stowed along the side of the property and visible from the road? If so, move them.


If you're selling your home, making the best first impression is crucial. You don't want buyers to drive by simply because they don't like what they see from the outside. Use these tips to boost your home's curb appeal.

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