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February 2012 Victoria Real Estate Market Reflects Consumer Confidence

March 1st, 2012

The story continues from last month when the Victoria Real Estate Board reported a relatively stable market when compared to the same time in 2011, but REALTORS® report they are optimistic that new provincial HST transition rules and a New Home First-time Buyers Bonus will stimulate sales of new properties.
February’s sale volume was virtually identical to that of February 2011, but the average price softened by 5% for single family homes over February 2011. The average sales price for a single family home in Greater Victoria was $579,985, with a six-month average of $594,027, showing a corresponding decrease of 4.7% over February 2011.
“REALTORS® are reporting increased showings, especially since the Provincial budget announcements,” says Carol Crabb, President of the Victoria Real Estate Board. “Our Members tell me the HST transition rules, increased HST rebates and New Home First-time Buyers Bonus are stimulating traffic for both new houses and condos.
“I think the BC budget also instilled consumer confidence. Potential buyers can see that our economy is stable and mortgage rates are incredibly low”, Crabb says. “Not only are prices remaining stable, there are enough listings to allow buyers to perform their due diligence without making rash decisions. We encourage buyers to work with REALTORS® to ensure they are educated about current market conditions and recently announced government incentives.”
With 3,977 active listings at the end of February, Crabb notes increased supply levels and sales are expected in keeping with the normal historical trend of spring activity.

Total non-waterfront Single Family Dwellings sold: 258, up 4 sales over February 2011
Total waterfront Single Family Dwellings sold: 7, down 3 sales over February 2011
Single Family Dwellings sold over $1 million: 14 (1 over $2 million)

Real Estate Activity Stable in November

December 1st, 2011

Real estate sales activity remained steady throughout Greater Victoria last month with a total of 482 homes and other properties selling through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), virtually unchanged from 483 sales in October. There were 479 sales in November of last year. Overall prices, meantime, remained mixed, depending on price measure and property type.

Victoria Real Estate Board President, Dennis Fimrite, said the continued stability in sales is indicative of a balanced and healthy market, “We were pleased to see that sales last month were higher than in November of last year and showed little change from October. Looking forward, we anticipate continued stability as we move into 2012.” Fimrite noted that there was some variability in prices last month, depending on property type, “It’s important to look at price changes over several months to determine what trends are developing as there will always be month-to-month fluctuations in prices depending on what properties sell in a given month.” He added that that there were 11 single family home sales of over $1 million in November including one for over $6 million in Oak Bay.

Fimrite added that the number of properties available for sale eased last month to 4,329 compared to 4,687 at the end of October. “Inventory levels remained 16 per cent higher than a year ago but have fallen back from a peak of over 5,000 seen earlier this year.”

The average price for single-family homes sold in Greater Victoria last month was $592,034, down slightly from $595,836 in October. The median price also declined to $530,000 while the six-month average declined to $613,259. The overall average price for condominiums last month was $320,558, up from $307,329 in October. The median price for condominiums in November also increased to $296,000 while the average for the last six months declined slightly to $321,941. The average price of all townhomes sold last month was $380,675 compared to $428,040 in October. The median price declined to $360,000 while the six month average declined to $425,095.

MLS® sales last month included 293 single family homes, 104 condominiums, 48 townhomes and 10 manufactured homes.

Real Estate Activity Increases in October

November 1st, 2011

Fall Season at Cordova Bay Golf Course

Real estate sales activity showed a modest increase throughout Greater Victoria last month with a total of 483 homes and other properties selling through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), up from 458 sales in September. There were 467 sales in October of last year. Overall prices, meantime, remained mixed, depending on price measure and property type.
Victoria Real Estate Board President, Dennis Fimrite, said the increase in sales activity is good news and reflects ongoing stability in the market, “It is encouraging to note that sales last month were higher than in the previous month and compared to October of last year.” Fimrite added that there will always be month-to-month fluctuations in prices and that average prices are particularly susceptible to change depending on whether more higher priced or lower priced properties sell in a particular month. “There was some general softening in most price measures last month but it is interesting to note that while the overall average price for single family homes declined last month, the median price actually rose by almost $5,000,” noted Fimrite. He added that that there were 14 single family home sales of over $1 million in September including one on the Gulf Islands.
Fimrite added that the number of properties available for sale eased last month though inventory levels remained 16 per cent higher than a year ago. “The number of properties available for sale declined last month to 4,687 compared to 4,940 at the end of September.”
The average price for single-family homes sold in Greater Victoria last month was $595,836, down from $622,393 in September. However, the median price increased to $539,750 while the six-month average decreased slightly to $619,828. The overall average price for condominiums last month was $307,329, down from $332,490 in September. The median price for condominiums in October declined only slightly to $277,000 while the average for the last six months declined to $323,039. The average price of all townhomes sold last month was $428,040 compared to $436,039 in September. The median price declined to $374,500 while the six month average declined to $438,167.
MLS® sales last month included 260 single family homes, 145 condominiums, 46 townhomes and 10 manufactured homes.

Real Estate Sales Rise in June

July 4th, 2011

A total of 618 homes and other properties sold in June through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), up from 572 sales in May and very close to the 625 sales in June of last year.

Victoria Real Estate Board President, Dennis Fimrite, noted that market activity has returned to comparable levels of a year ago. “Overall sales so far this year are down 21 per cent compared to a year ago. It’s important to note, however, that the first few months of last year were very active compared to this year and we are now seeing a return to similar market conditions of a year ago.”

Fimrite added that the number of properties available for sale continued to increase at the end of last month with inventory levels currently seven per cent higher than a year ago. “The available choice for buyers increased further last month with 5,050 properties available for sale at the end of June – the highest monthly level in 15 years.” Fimrite add that there were 4,857 properties available for sale at the end of May.

The average price for single-family homes sold in Greater Victoria last month was $629,292, up from $628,462 in May. The median price also rose to $569,900 while the six-month average declined slightly to $619,568. There were 23 single family home sales of over $1 million in June. The overall average price for condominiums last month was $320,172, down from $328,345 in May. The average for the last six months rose to $329,402. The median price for condominiums in June also rose to $300,000. The average price of all townhomes sold last month declined to $444,768 from $466,845 in May. The median price also declined to $399,000 while the six month average rose to $448,159.

MLS® sales last month included 348 single family homes, 177 condominiums, 62 townhomes and nine manufactured homes.

Island Lives: Creator of Cordova Bay’s Fable Cottage

May 6th, 2011

By Katherine Dedyna, Times Colonist May 6, 2011

Bernard Rogers was known for the Cordova Bay Fable Cottage he built in the 1950s. It was moved to Denman Island in 1993.

When people say fantasy house these days, they often mean mega-kitchen, great room and bathroom spas.

Saanich resident Bernard Rogers built the real thing: Fable Cottage on the waterfront of Cordova Bay. The apple green 1950s family home boasted a fairytale façade with many “thatched” gables that nearly touched the ground.

And it soon began a decades-long enchantment for legions of local residents and tourists from around the world.

As well as having an artistic vision and business sense, Bernard was “very generous, talented, ambitious, honourable, a caring, loving husband, father and human being,” says Irv, Bernie’s son. “He had four brothers and five sisters and he helped everyone else; he always assisted them financially.”

Fable Cottage in Cordova Bay

Rogers died suddenly on April 22 at age 98, possibly from pneumonia, although he had been going strong at Berwick Royal Oak and planning spring golf games. Along with Fable Cottage, he made a name for himself as a partner in high-end clothiers British Importers, which still operates as Philip Nyren Menswear and Womenswear.

But Fable Cottage captured Bernie’s heart, along with the hearts of countless others until it was moved to Denman Island in 1993, after later owners sold it. Construction of one of Victoria’s best-loved tourist destinations began in 1951, based on a Plasticine model Bernie made that Irv still treasures. Bernie asked his wife: ” ‘Billie, how would you like to live in a house like that?’ My mother thought it was wonderful.”

They purchased the site from her family, but it took 10 years to complete the cottage. Its roof required 15 times the number of shingles normally used for a 2,000-square-foot home, thousands of them hand cut by Bernie. “It was a marvellous, marvellous place to live,” Irv says of his teenage years at 5187 Cordova Bay Rd.

Bernie did not intend Fable Cottage to become a tourist attraction but found it necessary to control public curiosity. “People just wouldn’t stay away,” Irv recalls; they were coming over the fence and up from the beach for a closer look. The public was allowed to visit during the summer, even when the family was home, and eventually, it became his father’s main source of income, having sold his partnership in British Importers in 1960. Fable Cottage became too much for Bernie and Billie and they sold it to Dick Hunter in 1969.

In the 1970s, Fable Cottage was sold to Bob and Anita Lane, who created lavish wishing gardens and installed about 30 animated dwarves designed by Universal Studios.

The Lanes ran it for nearly two decades until a divorce resulted in a sale to developers. Bernie was “very sad about it,” Irv recalls.

In 1993, the developer sold it to Wes Ritter, who barged the cottage to Denman after cutting it into three sections. Today, he praises Bernie as “creative and bold – he did things differently, which in that era was kind of rare.”

The cottage cost Ritter $1; Bernie’s handmade furniture another $1,000; the move itself about $120,000. “I jokingly call it Fatal College House Moving School.”

Ritter still lives in the restored cottage. “It’ll last another hundred years,” he says.

Real Estate Sales Soften, Prices Steady in April

May 2nd, 2011

The number of property sales throughout Greater Victoria softened in April while prices remained steady, showing increases for condominiums and townhomes and minor movement for single family homes. A total of 574 homes and other properties sold in April through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple listing Service® (MLS®), down from the 622 sales in March. There were 756 sales in April of last year.

Victoria Real Estate Open Houses

Victoria Real Estate Board President, Dennis Fimrite, noted that although sales are running below last year’s levels, the steady prices reflect ongoing stability in the market. “Sales so far this year are running over 20 per cent below last year’s levels but it is important to remember that sales were exceptionally strong during the first few months of 2010. Tighter credit conditions and anticipated higher mortgage rates have and will have some moderating effect on the market and prices are expected to remain relatively flat and stable for the time being.” Fimrite added that the number of properties available for sale continued to rise at the end of last month as more people put their homes up for sale as expected at this time of year. “There were 4,561 properties available for sale at the end of April – up from 4,100 properties available at the end of March. Inventory levels are currently eight per cent higher than a year ago.”

The average price for single-family homes sold in Greater Victoria last month was $615,533, down slightly from $619,275 in March. The median price declined to $556,000 while the six-month average also declined to $621,412. There were 18 single family home sales of over $1 million in April. The overall average price for condominiums was $353,858 last month, up from $325,581 in March. The average for the last six months rose to $331,108. The median price for condominiums in April rose to $301,000. The average price of all townhomes sold last month rose to $480,621 from $434,626 in March. The median price also rose to $460,000 while the six month average rose to $439,450.

MLS® sales last month included 315 single family homes, 153 condominiums, 61 townhomes and 11 manufactured homes.

Summary Report and Graphs

Monthly Sales Summary
Average Selling Price Graphs
Active Listings, New Listings and Sales Graphs

Meet Our Neighbour – PHYLLIS ANDERSON

April 5th, 2011

Mt Baker - by Phyllis Anderson

Phyllis Anderson has been our neighbour for the past 8 years first moving into Mattick’s Green, our condominium development alongside Cordova Bay Golf Course. Looking for more space for her studio and greater views and scenery to inspire her artwork, Phyllis and her husband, Keith, moved up to a one-level Townhouse at Sayward Hill.  Like many of our Sayward Hill neighbours, Phyllis is Alberta born, raised and educated. Her oil paintings are impressions of the familiar; the land, trees, water and flora with many images captured from her views at Sayward Hill and along Cordova Bay. Phyllis sees her painting career as a relatively new adventure in a history of self described “artistic obsessions”.  A graduate of the University of Alberta, she is an educator with many years experience in the classroom and as a member of education related boards. Fifteen years in the retail clothing business enhanced an inclination toward marketing and sales. On reaching “semi-retirement” Phyllis immersed herself in art classes, and a new obsession took over. In seven years of painting Phyllis has studied art at Red Deer College, the Alberta College of Art and Design and the University of Calgary. Phyllis’ work is in numerous private and corporate collections throughout Canada, the United States and Britain.

Cordova Bay Golf Course - by Phyllis Anderson

“I am motivated to paint by examining the familiar in changing light. Working in my studio and outdoors, I use photographs and first hand experiences in the composition of my oil paintings. Playing with light and color are the most important elements in my interpretations of land, sky, and water. My subjects range from the spectacular vistas of foothills and mountains to a simple pool of water in the corner of a filed; a ditch with a snow drift in winter or fireweed in summer. I avoid preconceived notions of colour and shape in my landscapes. Using objects as shapes of colour and liberally applying paint over an intense and dramatic under painting, I use bold, confident strokes to convey a Western Canadian spirit. I have been influenced by Monet’s sense of light and by the brushwork of Van Gogh. The Impressionists give permission to interpret the familiar by making subtle suggestions to the viewer, and this I strive to do.”

Phyllis Anderson is represented by the West End Gallery  in Victoria, BC and her works will be on exhibit from April 9 – 21, 2011.  An opening reception will take place Saturday, April 9th between 1 pm and 4 pm.  Come and enjoy some familiar views and landscapes found throughout Cordova Bay and Sayward Hill in Phyllis’ works.

West End Gallery, Victoria, British Columbia
1203 Broad Street
Victoria, BC CANADA
V8W 2A4
Tel: (250)388-0009
Gallery hours: Tues – Fri 10 – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday 10 – 5 p.m.
Sunday closed

Real Estate Activity Picks Up in March

April 1st, 2011

The number of property sales throughout Greater Victoria rose in March for the second consecutive month while prices for all major property types registered modest increases. A total of 622 homes and other properties sold in March through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple listing Service® (MLS®), up from the 488 sales in February. There were 789 sales in March of last year.

Spring Real Estate Forecast is Stable

Victoria Real Estate Board President, Dennis Fimrite, commented that the increase in sales last month, coupled with stable prices, shows continued consumer confidence in the market. “The latest figures offer further evidence of the return to balanced market conditions. There will always be month-to-month fluctuations in both sales and prices but barring any unforeseen developments we anticipate continued stability in the market in the coming months.” Fimrite added that the number of properties available for sale rose at the end of last month, “It is usual for more people to consider putting their homes up for sale as we head into spring and summer.” There were 4,100 properties available for sale at the end of March – up from 3,714 properties available at the end of February. Inventory levels are currently ten per cent higher than a year ago.

The average price for single-family homes sold in Greater Victoria last month was $619,275 up from $610,975 in February. The median price rose slightly to $568,500 while the six-month average also rose to $625,992. There were 22 single family home sales of over $1 million in March. The overall average price for condominiums was $325,581 last month, up slightly from $323,844 in February. The average for the last six months also rose slightly to $325,188. The median price for condominiums in March rose to $290,000. The average price of all townhomes sold last month rose to $434,626 from $415,591 in February. The median price also rose to $408,150 while the six month average declined slightly to $431,975.

Victoria Real Estate Board

MLS® sales last month included 351 single family homes, 172 condominiums, 75 townhomes and 10 manufactured homes.

Summary Report and Graphs

Monthly Sales Summary
Average Selling Price Graphs
Active Listings, New Listings and Sales Graphs

Featured Trade – Stone Trends Granite & Marble

March 22nd, 2011

Sayward Hill prides itself on quality construction and materials along with superior customer service and aligns itself with local trades within Victoria, BC who adhere to the same standards. Stone Trends Granite & Marble Ltd. is one such company.

Stone Trends is always searching out new ways to be efficient, whether it is investing in the latest stone processing equipment and technology to providing their customers with honest up to date information regarding the products they work with or offer. Helping people make the right choices is paramount to Jeff Shaw and his team as well as finding products that can make the care and maintenance of their new or old Natural Stone or Quartz surfaces a no hassle chore.

Besides making countertops, they also spend a lot of time doing repairs on Granite, Marble and quartz counters for various reasons. One of the issues they are starting to see a lot of with customers is their counters are losing their lustre ( Shine ) over time. Upon inspection and consultation what they are finding is people or their cleaning contractors are using inappropriate cleaning products which are not formulated for these surfaces and are either etching their natural stone ( mainly marble ) or stripping the sealers off of their granite which leaves it susceptible to staining and on Quartz counters effecting the colour pigment in the resin. Granite, Marble and Quartz is very much common place these days and is also an expensive addition to anyone’s home or business and is found in many of the homes at Sayward Hill. Before you start encountering potential problems which are expensive to repair perhaps give this some consideration.

 

Stone Trends Granite Cleaner

Stone Trends carry a product that is multipurpose and protects and enhances sealers , protects colour pigments in Quartz and does not etch marble. On top of that their product is also able to be used to clean stainless steel appliances and chrome or brass fixtures. All of this in one product, no need for multiple cleaning products anymore. It comes in an aerosol can and is as easy as spray on and wipe off.

If this is a product that you think you can work with in your home or business please give them a call and set-up a time for a demo for you or drop by their showroom to pick up this new and innovative product.

 Jeff Shaw – Owner/Managing Director
 Stone Trends Marble & Granite Ltd.
Setting new standards in service and quality
Tel: 250-655-6260
Fax: 250-655-7055
www.stonetrends.ca

Bill Mattick – The Man, The Myth, The Legend

March 16th, 2011

The relaxed atmosphere of Cordova Bay Golf Course in Victoria is built in large part on legends like Bill Mattick. Bill was a one handed farmer and a notorious gambler. His farm and market lay on the property where the Golf Course now stands. In this video Jim Goddard and Doug Grove from Cordova Bay Golf Course, talk about the ‘Goat Shed ‘ Bill had when he was still running ‘Mattick’s Farm’.  Could the Goat Shed be inhabited once again? And by whom or what? Stay tuned but in the meantime, watch the story unfold below and for more history on the surrounding areas of Sayward Hill.

If you have been to Bill Mattick’s Restaurant & Lounge you have undoubtedly done a double take at the old man sitting up on the ledge (don’t worry you aren’t the only one who thought he might be real, just ask Jim Goddard in the pro shop about the time the police thought he was a burglar and had drawn their guns on him). Good Ol’ Bill has a special place in our hearts and his story is below.

By trade, Bill was a one-handed farmer, but the tales of his life are far more exciting than that title implies. He started off in the 1940’s growing vegetables and flowers on the property where the golf course now sits. His business grew to the point where he was exporting tulips and daffodils by chartered jet to the east coast. In the 50’s he added on the market, tea garden and a par 3 golf course and driving range (that’s right, it was ol’ Bill who knew this land was destined for golf greatness). His days started promptly at 9am. First up? A Black Russian and a freshly rolled cigarette. He was a consummate showman, and stories still abound about the notorious poker games that were held on the property. Talk to anyone who has been in Victoria for long enough and they will tell you all about Bill’s fresh made donuts, the talking myna bird and the miniature train that were the hallmarks of Mattick’s Farm.

Were he alive today, Bill would probably not feel quite right in the restaurant that bears his name: too fancy, too big, no horse skins, but we do our best to make him feel comfortable. Each spring the restaurant is filled with tulips and daffodils from the property, you can always get a Black Russian and inevitably your meal will be interrupted by a wolf whistle from the resident myna bird.

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