Thank you again for all of the referrals, everyone! Veronica and I are so appreciative of your trust in us and for the opportunity to work with new clients.
BUSY TIMES AHEAD?
Based on the activity at the end of 2014 and even over the holidays, it looks like the Victoria real estate market is going to be quite active at the beginning of 2015. No major changes in prices are forecasted, but a steady strong year is expected.
Is this a good time to buy? If you are buying a property that you can and will likely keep for AT LEAST five years, then yes. Prices are not expected to fall but no major peaks are expected either.
Pricing is easier these days too, as we have been in this balanced market for a few years. There are lots of comparable listings and sales to look at when we are recommending asking prices for sellers and offer prices for buyers. Listings must be priced competitively and buyers are not willing to overpay which has been a theme for the last few years in Victoria.
All this makes for a pretty predictable time to buy or sell which should please even the most cautious of players in this marketplace.
Please feel free to email with questions about pricing and inventory in specific neighbourhoods in Victoria. If you would like a market update on your home or you know someone who is thinking of buying or selling and wants more information, I would be so pleased to chat.
Thank you so much to all of the people who bought or sold with me and my team in 2014. It was a steady year and your trust in our advice, help and service means the world to us!
Congrats to our sellers who have now moved out of their waterview property on Willis Point. We were very pleased to get a deal together for them on that unique property.
NEW LISTING - 2710 Jacklin Rd #113 - $245,000 – Two bed, two bath 2009 built, ground floor condo with its own little yard space! Nice layout and rentals and pet allowed!
Congrats to our mainland buyers who found a charming home in Deer Park in Mill Bay which ticked all of their boxes after a thorough house hunting trip in the Fall. Thank you so much for letting us help!
Happy Autumn! The leaves are starting to fall from the trees but the real estate sales and prices sure aren’t falling!
"Here we are again, a month in 2014 ending with more sales than in 2013," Victoria Real Estate Board President Tim Ayres says. "This year has been a solid year for local real estate - indeed we are only 154 transactions away from meeting the total number of sales from 2013 - and there are two more months left in the year!"
To discuss whether this is the right time for you to buy or sell real estate in this market, please get in touch to chat
SOLD - Congratulations to our out of town seller who sold his North Park townhome for a solid price, in a very reasonable amount of time, with ease. Veronica handled this listing and transaction almost entirely online which worked wonderfully for our client.
FOUND - Congrats to our Edmonton buyer escaping the winters and buying a well priced two bed, two bath condo in the Jubilee area. She is very happy to be in Beautiful Victoria and with her investment and new home.
FOUND - Congratulations to our Vancouver buyers who purchased a Gorge area gem with many extras. They got an excellent price on this house thanks to the amazing Veronica.
SUMMER 2014 MARKET UPDATE
Please check out the latest stats to see the proof positive of the recent Victoria real estate market. Houses, townhouses and condos are all up in price from this time last year and sales volume is too. This was the best August in the last 5 years! The increases are not dramatic, however, so these results are in keeping with our predictions of modest improvements in market conditions over the few years.
Hello and Happy Spring!
The blossoms are blooming and flowers are popping up everywhere in Victoria, as are the For Sale signs!
The real estate market has certainly picked up in 2014, as we expected with the shift to a more balanced market last Fall. Sales volume is up over previous months and over last year and prices are holding steady with modest increases. My prediction is for prices to continue to rise slightly over this coming year and the next few years with less of an increase for condos and outer lying areas and more for single family homes and closer areas to town.
Surprisingly, interest rates dropped recently which is spurring on smart buyers who plan to take advantage of this low point in prices and rates. The buyers are out there and many of them motivated. However, they are still slower to act and are very careful with every dollar they are spending. Most of the transactions Veronica and I have facilitated this year so far have been painful at times to negotiate for both buyer and seller. Sellers are hopeful with the activity their listings see, but when it comes down to it, buyers are still very cautious and want a deal if they are going to put pen to paper. Buyers are extremely well educated on the market and know value when they see it. Sellers who price right will see action quickly. Overpriced listings may get some attention, but will not sell at the higher price. Offers will come in low and negotiations may take days or more to come together or may end up dying on the table.
So needless to say Veronica and I have been working very hard this year so far. Our efforts have paid off and we have successfully helped many buyers and sellers meet their real estate objectives in 2014 already. A huge thank you to all of the clients we have been able to help recently and the many we are still working with to achieve their goals.
Veronica will be handling more of the day-to-day coming soon as I gear up for our 2nd baby’s arrival. Our clients are all thrilled with Veronica’s service, advice and expertise. She really is an exceptional agent and I feel so fortunate to have her on board.
As we move into Spring and Summer, please do not hesitate to get in touch with either of us directly for any of your real estate needs, questions or queries. She is Cc’d on this email. One of us will respond ASAP as usual and the service offered will be the same as what you have been used to.
In the meantime, I will keep you posted on Little Miss Larkins’ arrival and will certainly be staying in touch.
Enjoy the beautiful bloomings and all the best from me!
TESTIMONIAL OF THE MONTH – “Thank you so much....We LOVE our new house! We couldn't be happier to have had you and Veronica as our realtors :)”
I just wanted to announce that Iplaced in the Top 25 Agents at Pemberton Holmes for 2013! I’m quite proud of this as there are hundreds of professional REALTOR®s working at PH. I also won a Silver MLS award for 2013. So thank you to everyone who worked with me and my team last year and who refered their friends and family our way as well!!!
NEW LISTING – 848 Melody Place - $612,800 – Serene ocean view .82 acre lot with a 2600 sqft house, two cabins, a yurt, abundant parking, decking, trees and tranquility only 20 mins from town on Willis Point!
NEW LISTING - 1137 View St #402 – $364,900 - 2 Bed plus loft, 2 bath with lovely updates, nice outlook and top floor corner location on quiet downtown location!
SOLD - Nicely updated 5 bed, 2 bath home in Lake Hill with mortgage helper and super convenient location. Our sellers made a great choice with having the upstairs of this home professionally staged. We had 8 showings the first day and solid interest. Veronica and I helped them sell this one firm within 3 weeks J
SOLD – Lovely 3 bed, 2 bath home on a quiet street and a fabulous lot in Saanich J Our buyers got a great price on this house the first day on the market thanks to Veronica’s expertise ;) Congrats to some of our loveliest clients ever!
SOLD – Spacious harbour view 2 bed, 2 bath condo at Laurel Point! Veronica and I sold this one within days for dollars off the asking price. Congrats to our sellers and kudos to them for their presentation efforts inside the suite and perfect pricing decision!
NEW LISTING – 225 Belleville St #1003 - $470,000 - Spacious harbour view 2 bed, 2 bath condo at Laurel Point!
NEW LISTING – 4030 Century Rd - $559,000 – Nicely updated 5 bed, 2 bath home in Lake Hill with mortgage helper and super convenient location!
MARKET UPDATE – Here are the latest stats from the Victoria Real Estate Board. You can see that prices are on the rise again. I personally believe that we have hit bottom now and will see modest increases in the next year. Also, interest rates have just gone down, so the stage is set for an active Spring in the Victoria real estate market. If you or someone you know are thinking of making a move in 2014, Veronica and I would love to help advise you. Please page us at 250-384-8124 or email at Info@HomesByNaomi.com .
December 2013 - Recapping the year
As 2013 comes to a close, I am hoping to quickly update you on the real estate market in Victoria and also some business and personal news from me...
In the second half of 2012 the market started to shift in Victoria. The mortgage rules changed and the economic news was still fairly bleak; consequently, buyers pulled back, while sellers felt the pinch and either pulled their listings off the market or significantly reduced the price to get them sold. This trend continued into the first half of 2013 and we saw prices fall further. What felt like a horrible market for sellers and a very challenging market for REALTOR®s was really just a shift to a more balanced and realistic market.
The entire Victoria area has experienced lower selling prices in all types of property over the last year, with the most significant softening in the condo market and in the outer lying communities. In general, the further the location from the core, the softer the market and the stronger the downward effect on selling prices.
The first 6-8 months of 2013 for me and for many of my clients were quite frustrating. This was certainly the most challenging year I have had in real estate sales. I was busy as usual, but getting the results for my clients that I was used to, was much tougher and in some cases impossible.
Finally in the late summer, the clouds seemed to part and both I and my clients were happily starting to get results. This also coincided (coincidentally... maybe?) with my new business partnership with Veronica Crha (see below for a pic.)
Veronica and I have worked together for the last two years at Pemberton Holmes, but decided in the summer that we would work more closely with her helping some of my clients alongside me. From the moment Veronica and I agreed to work together, I felt as though I had won the lottery. She is an amazing human being. Her professionalism and standard of service is very closely matched to mine and my clients have been thrilled with her help thus far. We bring slightly different experience to the table and we complement each other in a few ways, but mostly are virtually identical in the way we work with buyers and sellers.
This fall we have collaborated on many successful transactions and our clients have described us as a ‘Dream Team.’ All of the feedback has been fantastic and we have had a very busy past few months. We both continue to service clients on our own, but will be working together with most of my clients moving forward.
2013 looks like it will be a strong and steady year. We anticipate a balanced market with moderate price increases and fairly strong sales numbers. In other words, no major shifts, spikes or slumps this year, for which I will be quite glad!
Also, this year I will be quite glad to welcome another little Larkins into the world. We are expecting a baby girl in early May. Big-brother-to-be, Nathan, will be 3yrs by then and is quite excited about the addition. He told me yesterday that he wishes the baby would just COME OUT! But he is also quite concerned about her ‘stealing his toys.’ I’m sure it will not be dull and boring ;)
I know my business will continue to flourish and I will only be completely out of touch for a short time. Meanwhile, I have full confidence that Veronica will be dedicating herself to creating client satisfaction as I have – if not even better!
I look forward to connecting with many of you over the phone or via email during the holidays and into the New Year. Also, please stay tuned for details about our Client Appreciation Party slated for early February 2014!!
Thank you for reading this and also for your continued support. Your business and referrals mean the world to me and are very much appreciated.
Wishing you the happiest of holidays and all the very best from me!
NOVEMBER 3rd 2013
BUSINESS UPDATE: As most of you know, Veronica Crha and I are now working together to service the HomesByNaomi business. We are working hand-in-hand with many clients now and are able to provide a very consistent experience for clients as we are extremely alike in our skill sets, personality and work ethic. I feel like I have won the lottery having Veronica’s help. She is such a fabulous agent and an amazing person. The feedback is in from the clients and they love her as much as I do! No surprise. We were recently described as a “Dream Team.” Here is a quick bio on the lovely Veronica:
A proud lifelong Victoria resident, Veronica brings extensive local knowledge and a reputation for exceptional service in every facet of buying and selling real estate. Priding herself on helping clients make wise decisions when buying or selling their home, Veronica offers the highest level of integrity, a keen understanding of the local market, and honest, sound leadership. Veronica and her family live in the Maplewood area of Saanich and she is actively involved at Cloverdale Traditional Elementary School where her daughter attends grade five.
MARKET UPDATE: The Victoria Real Estate Board is now reporting Victoria’s stats in a different way. Please have a look at this article which explains it well. I am pleased with this new change as it reflects the actual affect of market changes on pricing, rather than reporting average pricing numbers which can be so easily skewed with high and low end sales each month.
This October’s Victoria real estate sales #’s were up 37%! I certainly felt this in my business as buyers became more motivated and (unfortunately for them) the supply of properties decreased. In many areas of Greater Victoria, we are no longer in a buyer’s market. In fact, Veronica and I found ourselves in more than a few multiple offer situations this past month!
Veronica and I are still working with motivated buyers who are trolling our custom MLS® searches for new quality listings and we are out seeing places regularly. Meanwhile, our listing inventory is way down.
More than ever, I am recommending to sellers that they list NOW rather than waiting for the Spring. The New Year is when everybody lists, so there is abundant competition. Right now, there is very little competition and buyers are wanting to write offers before their interest rates rise again. There is unlikely to be any significant movement either way in pricing in the next few months, so there is not much strategy in waiting for a higher selling price. In fact, when buyers are motivated, as they are now, especially with their rate holds only lasting another month or so, they may be willing to pay more than they would be in the New Year once the purchase will actually be more expensive and there is more choice for them. Think about it sellers ;)
FEATURE LISTING WITH NEW PRICE - $259,000!!! Our 2 Bed, 2 Bath condo is now priced below what it was purchased for before many improvements were made. This is an opportunity for a buyer who wants the security of a strata who has a HUGE contingency fund, yet low strata fee. UG parking included and an extra spot available. Children and pets are welcome and 950 sqft to enjoy.
FOUND! A solid 60’s family home on a gorgeous street in Mt. Tolmie. Our clients will need to put in some work for this one to be perfect, but they saw HUGE opportunity with this gem and ended up securing it for over $118K under assessed value – right on! We are sure after a few months of improvements our clients family will be very happy for years to come in this fabulous home
FOUND! An amazing house prime for renovation in Central Saanich. This is the second home my clients have purchased with me with the goal of to improving it. They are savvy and handy and we got a fabulous price of $20K under asking price even though we were in multiple offers!! This is a rare situation, but we were able to take advantage of the opportunity and I know it will pay off for my wonderful clients!
SOLD!! 1270 Johnson St #206 – This was a quick sale which is hard to come by in the condo market right now. Our clients worked with stagers to perfect their already magnificent 2 bed, 2 bath corner condo located super close to downtown and they got an offer within a few days. The place looked amazing in the pics and really appealed to a variety of buyers. Well done to our sellers and thank you for letting Veronica and I help!
SOLD!! Turnstone Estates – Another tough Westshore sale. Veronica brought a fresh perspective to this listing when she came on board in August and it paid off. We got the price in the perfect range and got an offer within the month. It is now SOLD and my clients can make their move to the mainland – congrats to them!!
Here are the latest stats where you can see the marked improvement in the market from this month last year! Sales #’s were up 16% and # of listings was down 9.5%.
Finally sellers are either removing their overpriced listings from the market or reducing the prices to reflect the reality of the recent market correction. Meanwhile, buyers are motivated to get their next home secured before interest rates rise again. We are again in a more balanced market where serious buyers and sellers can come to terms more easily.
I was #6 in my company last month! (That’s out of over 200 agents.) Thank you so much to my loyal clients who have bought or sold with me this past month. The support of ALL of my clients – past, present and future means so much to me and you are all so wonderful to work with!
I owe much of my September success to my new associate Veronica Crha!! Veronica and I have been working together for the last two years, and we have recently decided to work together on some of our transactions. Knowing that everyone needs time off once in a while (even REALTOR®s ;) ) we will be covering each other when needed. We are able to provide a very smooth transition for clients as we are extremely alike in our skill sets, personality and work ethic. I feel like I have won the lottery working with Veronica. She is such a fabulous agent and an amazing person. Thank you Veronica!!
FEATURE LISTING - $1,190,000 – 4900 La Bonne Rd in majestic Metchosin! Exceptionally designed 2008 Mountain Craftsman rancher with many locally sourced building materials on a 5 acre parcel with supreme privacy! Living features impressive wood burning FP, 22' ceilings, & oversized windows to flat grassy yard, all day sun, superb water feature & 1500sqft deck w/hot tub & covered outdoor living rm w/cozy FP! Main house also has chef’s kitchen, 4 beds and 3 baths plus bright media/flex rm above dble garage. Detached additional 3Bay garage/shop with amazing potential above!
SOLD 551 Bezanton #21 – My clients have now successfully sold their beautiful townhouse in Colwood. Madrona Creek is one of the nicest townhouse developments in the $500K range in all of Greater Victoria. As with much of the Westshore, this complex was hit hard by the market downturn. However, I was able to sell this one for only $5000 less than they paid brand new in 2009 whereas the AVERAGE comparable townhouse was selling for a maximum of $50,000 less than when they purchased. (Yes, average – meaning some have lost even more!) I am quite proud of this and my clients were pleased as well.
FOUND! A unique ocean view home on a half acre lot in Mill Bay. I was excited to help my new buyers purchase only a few minutes from where I grew up! The Mill Bay market has been slow, so we were able to get a good price for this awesome house and property. Congrats to them and welcome to the Island!
NEW LISTING $279,900 - 3010 Washington #109 – This 2 bed, 2 FULL bath condo with in suite laundry only a few mins drive from downtown and on transit routes has been treated to many updates. Underground secure parking and storage plus children and pets welcome!
SEPTEMBER 2013 MARKET UPDATE
Finally some action this past month! Personally this has been the toughest year in real estate I have ever had. Buyers and sellers are on different pages, rightly so in many cases. For both me and my clients during this past Spring and Summer we have felt like we have been spinning our wheels. Here are the stats which don’t quite do the reality of the Victoria Real Estate Marker justice. It really is a great opportunity for buyers right now with an abundant selection of homes, sellers reducing their priced and prices on average down. With mortgage rates likely to rise in the next few months, it could be the right environment for a market improvement.
SOLD!! 1977 Valley View Place – My clients were very pleased to hand their fabulous home over to the next family to love it. Staging helped this empty home feel warm and inviting, showed off the many updates and allowed it to appeal to all sorts of different buyers. Congrats to my sellers and thank you to my other past client for the referral!
FOUND!! A fabulous townhouse in my neighbourhood which my clients can happily downsize to! What a pleasure it was helping these wise clients with their move. Welcome to the ‘hood!
SOLD!! 1291 Eston Place – I’m not going to lie, this wasn’t the quickest sale. The Bear Mountain market was slow and we had to reduce in order to entice buyers. Just as my clients were about to give up on their move, we got some last minute interest and everything fell into place. I had a feeling it would!
FOUND!! My savvy past clients found an awesome house in Gordon Head with bells and whistles coming out of its... you get the picture. This 6 bed, 3 bath home with a suite had had extensive upgrades and the owner had spared no expense. Congrats to them for securing this place for their family and thanks again for letting me help!
JUNE 1st 2013 MARKET UPDATE
Here are the most recent stats where you can see that it is clearly still a buyer’s market. Prices are down, more than these graphs accurately depict. The Westshore is particularly challenged as some buyers chose to move further in, given the reduction in prices closer to town.
NEW LISTING - $600,000 – 1977 Valley View Place in View Royal! This 6 bed, 3 bath home offers beautiful upgrades and easy care lot and a location to die for on a quiet cul de sac within walking distance to Thetis. This one has been professionally staged and shows beautifully!
SOLD!! 1068 Costin Ave – A successful sale for my lovely clients in under two months meant they could make a smooth move up island, exactly as planned. It wasn’t without some hard work getting this property picture perfect for sale and even after the offer to keep everything together, but now they are off to start the next chapter of their lives!
SOLD!! 1597 Midgard #104 – In only 8 days we sold this two bedroom condo in Mt. Tolmie. The condo market has been a battle this year, and my clients were well prepared to know a good opportunity to sell when they saw it. What a pleasure working with this client again and congrats again on a quick and successful sale J
FOUND!! After a long search of condos and townhouses in Oak Bay, Saanich East and Victoria, my charming clients moving from Edmonton found and secured an amazing deal of a condo with over 1500 sqft right on Oak Bay Ave. Walking distance to everything, close to family and all the space they needed, over a hundred thousand less than alternatives. Yahoo!
NEW LISTING – $350,000 - 1068 Costin Ave in Langford is a lovely half duplex with beautiful updates and a great fenced yard. 3 beds, 2 baths and close to schools, parks and amenities.
FOUND!! After courting this spacious top floor condo in Fernwood for a few months, I helped my client secure it with a subject to sale offer. We pulled off what others thought was impossible and now she is happily moved and will be staying put for the long haul!
SOLD!! 928 Southgate #102 – My happy client was able to sell her beautiful condo across from Beacon Hill Park in under two months at 96% of asking price. Condos have been a tough sell with the introduction of depreciation reports for stratas this year, so we are very pleased with this success
MAY 1st Market Update now available! More to follow...
FOUND!! My fabulous past clients moving back to Victoria were here for a whirlwind buying trip and we found the The One – a charming 1949 Bungalo in Cedar Hill with a suite for $576,500! Nice yard, detached garage, quiet street and almost no work to be done. Congrats and welcome back to Vic!
MARKET UPDATE MARCH 2013
The Victoria Real Estate Board sales stats for February weren’t too promising – for sellers that is. That being said, I am starting to see the first trickles of water breaking through the winter dam... Lots of buyers starting their searches, lots of sellers wanting updates on what their home is worth now and whether this is a good time to buy and sell.
I have four accepted offers right now – three subject to the sale of another property. Some for my sellers and some for my buyers. This trend explains why things are feeling much busier, but the numbers aren’t reflecting the increased pace of the market yet. Once those homes sell, along with many others, the flow of transactions will start to pick up and I think we will see much higher sales numbers in a month or two, compared to this past month and 2012.
Prices will likely remain very steady this year. They are definitely down from a few years ago. (How much? I'd be happy show you what the specific price graph looks like for a particular type of home in a particular area. Just email me the request.) Plus interest rates just keep getting lower. It’s unbelievable really, and unbelievable that more first time home buyers aren’t taking advantage of the current market conditions. Activity from the first timers would be the push that this market needs to get moving again.
Otherwise, the holding pattern will continue as homeowners wait to make their moves, even though they can see what they want on the market at the right price, because they are hesitant to sell in this market.
This is smart thinking, and for some people it really does make sense to wait right now. For others, and with the right advice and representation on selling and buying, this is a great opportunity. There are some killer deals out there right now and it is basically cheaper to buy than rent in many cases with the rates this low.
Some other factors at work in the Victoria Real Estate market right now are... The end of HST – I think the whole thing is totally ridiculous and quite confusing for buyers of new construction, however, the idea of this change may spur on more purchasers contemplating big ticket items this coming Spring. New construction taxes won’t be improved much at all in reality though, because the BC government has implemented a two year 2% Transitional Tax. I can provide more details on this if you’d like. The good news is that I only have to charge 5% GST on my commission now on any sales closing after April 1st – yay!
Please remember, that any contact I have with buyers and sellers is time well spent. If you are wanting to discuss a move in the future and want to start ‘just looking’ at what’s out there, or if you want some advise on getting your home ready to sell, I’m your gal! Call or email any time!
Thanks so much again for the referrals I keep getting from my past clients. Your recommendations means so much to me!!
1291 Eston $850,000, Stunning 6 Beds, 4 Baths, 4000 sqft with a sweet suite and beautiful synthetic lawn – no mowing!
1146 View st #402 $300,000, Fully updated, top floor, corner, S/W facing 2 Bed condo!
928 Southgate #102 $350,000 Beautifully updated, sunny, 2 Bed, 2 Bath condo across from Beacon Hill Park!
MARKET UPDATE FEB 2013
So... the fact that it is the 11th of Feb and I have hardly had a chance to provide a market update this year is a good sign for the Victoria Real Estate market!
To give you a few good news stories: I requested showings on 14 different houses on Sunday and I could only get into 8 because the others had accepted offers. That wasn’t the best news for my buyers of course, but it is a welcome change in the market from 2012. This was houses in town under $600K in the most sought after areas. Whereas sales on the Westshore are still slower. Showings are picking up significantly on my Westshore listings, however. And normally when things start to pick up in town, the areas further out of downtown are soon to follow.
Another surprising turn: After a few months on the market, many showings and one offer, my acreage in Metchosin is expecting multiple offers! Very exciting and very 2007esque Will keep you all posted on that one.
So if you know any potential sellers, please pass on this good news and let them know that I think the next month or so will be quite active. The first few months of the year in Victoria tend to be one of the best times to sell because many homeowners tend to wait until Spring to list, but the buyers start to get serious much sooner.
For buyers, you will certainly have more choice come Spring and with interest rates staying low for the next many months and prices down from last year – the stage is set for an excellent time to buy. There are some deals to be had out there right now. As demand increases, prices may creep up a little this Spring, but I predict they will stay pretty level... for quite a while.
Hope this helps!
Please pass my name along to those you know who are considering a move in 2013. I am never too busy for your referrals!
NEW LISTING – 928 Southgate #102 Beautifully updated 2 bed, 2 bath condo - $350,000
Incredible LOCATION & outlook onto Beacon Hill Park! This SOUTH FACING 2BR, 2Bth condo has been treated to over $50K of recent UPGRADES & offers an exceptional layout! Stunning engineered Oak flrs, sunny FULLY RENOVATED KITCHEN, semi-open concept dining (a welcome change to the usual L-shaped plan) & spacious living featuring cozy GAS f/p opening to bright sunrm w/lovely garden & park views. Master overlooks private grass, has chic marine inspired FULL ENSUITE & loads of closet space. 2nd BR is HUGE w/ample space 4 kids, guests or your DREAM OFFICE! No neighbrs on 3 sides! Abundant closets w/great organizers plus 3 storage spaces, parking included & IN SUITE LAUNDRY! Very stroller/wheelchair friendly, some rentals, CHILDREN & PETS welcome!
Exciting news – I am thrilled to announce that I was in the Top 25 Agents in my Pemberton Holmes office in 2012. Let’s be honest – I barely squeeked in at #24, but out of 220+ agents, I’m pretty honoured!
I ALSO won a Silver MLS Award for 2012. This means I was in the top 20% of REALTOR® across Victoria and area. Yay me!
And more importantly, thank you very much to all the buyers and sellers who worked with me in 2012. Better than awards are the happy faces on my clients when we successfully secure the right home or the right buyer for their home. I mean that very sincerely.
NEW LISTING – 1291 Eston Place, Gorgeous 6 bed, 4 bath, 4000 sqft home $850,000
Exceedingly well blt 2007 home w/majestic Mt views, spectacular flrplan, & fabulous legal 2BR suite! 4000 sqft of living featuring gourmet appointed kitchen open to airy family rm, bright eating space & skylit formal living & dining. Upstairs is roomy master w/spa ensuite (heated flrs, his&her sinks & relaxing Jacuzzi) huge wlk-in closet & deck w/serene views plus 2 more BR's & den (easily used as 4thBR up) Large laundry up for convenience plus sep laundry for 2BR suite, sep entry & patio - perfect for extended family, nanny or solid mortgage helper. Oversized 2car garage w/13ft ceilings & large storage/workshop. Extremely low-care yard w/$27K of upgrades. Quiet, safe cul-de-sac close to all amenities plus world class dining, spa & golf!
Here are the stats recapping 2012http://www.homesbynaomi.com/newsletter.php It definitely was not the best year for Victoria Real Estate!
I predict more activity in the next few months. I am already getting more and more calls. January and more so February could be good months for sellers!
A HUGE HAPPY HOLIDAYS to my clients past, present and future!!!!
QUICK MARKET UPDATE Dec 2012
The updated Sales Stats for Dec 1st 2012 are ready for you to view here. http://www.homesbynaomi.com/newsletter.php You will see a message from the Victoria Real Estate Board’s president and you can scroll down to the links at the bottom to view the graphs showing prices over the last 2 years and listings and sales #’s as well. The last two links depict the current state of the market best visually.
As you can see, the Victoria real estate market is really slow right now. There are currently about 4200 listings on the market – wow! And sales numbers are quite low. Prices have also been on a downward trend over the last 4 to 9 months, depending on the type of property (see second to last graph on the newsletter page.)
My opinion is that this is further slowdown is largely due to the mortgage rule changes. Please see my rant about this below.
NEW LISTING – 1146 View St #402 – 2 Bed, Gorgeous Downtown Condo - $300,000
Exceptionally spacious S/W facing penthouse suite, updated from top to bottom! Kitchen features stainless GE appliances, new cabinetry, backsplash, island with breakfast bar & granite counters. Bathroom offers all new fixtures, tile flooring & granite vanity! Beautiful new flooring, trim, doors, lighting & paint throughout! Enjoy gorgeous sun sets overlooking the city out to Sooke Hills from this bright, top floor corner home on a very quiet part of View st away from the bustle, yet minutes to grocery, theatres, coffee & the ocean! 1350 sqft of living space including airey sunroom for year round enjoyment, huge dining, living & master with walk-in. Large seperate storage, guest suite, bike storage & parking!
NEW LISTING – 551 Bezanton Way #21 – 3 Bed, 3 Bath Townhouse - $525,000
Privacy assured! This quiet, pristine townhome looks onto treed ravine - enjoy natural views from the large sunny deck & spacious great room, open to dining & gourmet kitchen with elegant granite, eating bar & upgraded stainless appliances. No need to do stairs every day - generous master on the main level with deluxe ensuite featuring heated floors, soaker tub & sep. shower. Lovely separation of space with two bdrms & a large full bath down plus a family rm & office space! Abundant storage on lower level, two car garage, smart wiring, gas stove & BBQ hook-up plus air conditioning thx to heat pump! Minutes to golf, amazing trails, Red Barn Market, new pharmacy & medical. Enjoy this tranquil setting nestled in a blossoming community.
NEW LISTING – 3769 Duke Rd – 4 Bed, 4 Bath, 2600 sqft house, multiple garages and an amazing 2000 sqft shop! $725,000
Location, location! Enjoy Red Barn Market, Pharmacy & medical within minutes plus upcoming Royal Bay waterfront village while relaxing within the rural setting of Metchosin with beach a few mins away! On this sunny 1.6 acre parcel sits a solid 1970's house updated & extended in the 90's with carport, plus garage (perfect for hobby vehicles) detached two car garage with small attached studio & 2000sqft shop at the back of the property with 14ft ceilings & 200amp! House has 3 bdrms & 3 baths up with large functional eat-in kitchen, sunroom plus formal living & dining! Downstairs has family room, 4th bdrm, bathroom & storage. Improvements in last few years include: furnace, roof & heat pump! Loads of room for boat, RV, toys & a home business!
MARKET UPDATE October 2012
A re-cap of the current Victoria real estate market is now available athttp://www.homesbynaomi.com/newsletter.php. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the links to see the new stats.
You can see that average prices for single family homes and condos has stayed fairly steady over the last few months. Townhouse averages have dropped a little. I have certainly found townhouse prices being affected on the Westshore where price reductions are abundant and sellers are often coming down lower than when they purchased a few years ago.
Strangely enough, I find that many active buyers, especially those who are downsizing, are actually looking for a townhouse as their next home. Most of these buyers want a one level home, ideally. However, I think the “standoff” that the Victoria Real Estate Board president is referring to, comes into play here because these buyers almost always have to sell a house in order to buy the townhouse. They are perfectly happy in their home, they don’t need to move, AND they feel the market is weak. Therefore, they stay put for now and the townhouses stay on the market. Meanwhile, the other end of the townhouse buying market (the first time buyers) have slowed down as well, in part due to the recent mortgage changes (see below.)
More than ever it is important to have a home looking its best for sale and presented as well as possible online. This is where 96% of buyers will view the home they eventually buy first. Staging, fix-ups around the home and exceptional online presentation almost always lead to a quicker and more lucrative sale. I have lots of tips, so please ask!
NEW LISTING – 2120 Harrow Gate #130 – 3 Bed, 3 Bath, 1750 sqft Townhouse with Master on the Main Level!! $450,000
Bright 3BR, 3BTH townhouse in quiet, safe established neighbourhood on Bear Mt. Spacious, sunny open concept living, dining & kitchen w/abundant cupboard & counter space, plus laundry w/storage, 2 pc bath & MASTER ON MAIN w/walk-in closet & full ensuite. Master & living open to LOVELY BACKYARD w/patio, privacy wall & lots of grass. Upstairs 2 nicely sized BRs & full bath - perfect for kids or guests. Full crawl space & additional enclosures provide BOUNTIFUL STORAGE. Generous DOUBLE GARAGE, built-in vac, brand new water tank & low flow toilets. Views & surroundings established, great neighbours & close to all amenities plus world class dining & golf! Pets, rentals & children welcome, easy, well run strata. Priced to sell in current market!
MARKET UPDATE August 2012
I think the Victoria Real Estate Board president sums up the current Victoria real estate market best with “stable pricing, low interest rates and good selection.” This Summer has seen very similar sales numbers over last with actually slightly lower inventory overall.
I predict similar sales numbers for the rest of the Summer and into September with an increase in activity come mid-September and definitely an increase in inventory at that time also.
Remember, it is always tempting to list when everyone else lists: January-March or September. However, there are advantages to sellers who list at less predictable times of the year. I have further advice on this, so please ask. Buyers, however, are smart to ramp up their searches at these times of the year because inventory is at its highest. The next few months are excellent for buyers as many sellers have been waiting all Summer to sell and/or are trying to sell before Winter.
Here are the price and inventory graphs for you to pour over. Please call or email to discuss any specific questions re the market and timing of buying or selling.
MY TAKE ON RECENT MORTGAGE CHANGES
In July there were further changes made in the mortgage lending world with tightening qualification and re-finance parameters, lowered amortization periods and more.
My colleague, Fernando Zilli at TD has offered the following details on the changes and what is behind them.
These mortgage changes are supposed to help maintain economic stability in Canada. I certainly believe that many Canadians are in too much debt, however, these changes specifically seem to inhibit first time buyers and some up-sizers unnecessarily.
The number of foreclosures in BC is miniscule overall. So the Bank of Canada sees that many Canadians are in debt and decides to adjust mortgage approval parameters rather than addressing credit card and unsecured bank lines of credit. I think this is a shame.
It is also, in my opinion, especially unwarranted in Victoria where property values are traditionally more stable than other areas of the province and country. Even in the past few years of ‘downturn’ prices have hardly dropped here.
My prediction is that prices will continue to stay steady for some time. Therefore mortgages are actually much safer loans for the banks (vs. unsecured and credit cards) and real estate is quite a safe investment long term for buyers. It’s too bad that some first time buyers are now holding back from making a purchase because the Bank of Canada’s recommendations have affected their affordability so severely. E.g. I had buyers looking up to $400K, now can only look up to $375K. Whereas before they could consider a small newer house on the Westshore or a townhouse in town, their options now are an in-town condo, Westshore townhouse or up-island house. Many buyers would rather continue to rent and save than compromise, so they wait. Now how does that effect the economy?
WELCOME TO THE TEAM!
For the past seven years Alicia Moravec of Pemberton Holmes has been involved with a number of high profile Victoria law firms delivering real estate conveyancing services to their clients. She began her real estate licensing in 2011 and is now full time in the business.
She is also working with me as my licensed associate.
This allows my clients to have me fully focused on their real estate objectives utilizing my experience and knowledge, while Alicia manages the business, takes care of the admin and keeps everybody organized!
She already has a number of successful sales under her belt and is working first hand with some of my clients as well.
Alicia has become an invaluable member of the team. Her organizational skills, attention to detail, tireless motivation and professionalism are a boon to my business!
Alicia and I have been working with Greg Long of Pemberton Holmes to sell the beautiful condos at Latoria Creek. These 2 bed, 2 bath, aprox 1100 sqft homes have a townhouse feel with their own exterior entrances and corner orientations, yet are all on one level! There are only 12 homes in each building and the first building has only three left! We are now selling the second building with a few improvements and new pricing. Please visit http://www.latoriacreek.com/ for more info and please contact me for more details.
I have a new Homes By Naomi FACEBOOK page where you can join in real estate discussions, keep informed of changes to the housing market and be generally entertained.
Like me, oh please like me!
BABY PIC ANYONE?
Okay, maybe he’s not a ‘baby baby’ anymore, but here is my 17 month old, Nathan, taking a momentary break from frolicking on a hot afternoon. What a hilarious age this is as every day he seems to improve his communication (both in words and animal noises,) increases his climbing and running speed and generally seems more like a little boy than a baby. What a guy and what a time. And yes, I am taking lots of time to enjoy it :)
STUNNING WESTSHORE TOWNHOUSE $425,000
Tell your friends, folks, my listing at 470A Royal Bay Drive is such a catch!!!
3 bed, 3 baths, 2 decks and a patio, 2 car garage and tonnes of additional parking, pets & children welcome, views, trees, trails, shopping within mins. Pics and plans here.
SOLD!!! 68 Songhees #308 – congrats to my out-of-town sellers who took my advice to stage their condo for sale. We priced it perfectly and it looked beautiful in the professional photos and in person. Sure enough we got an offer in just over a month whereas most of the units in that building are on for many months or don’t sell at all. Thanks again to my past client for the referral!!!
SOLD!!! 486 Royal Bay Drive #38 – This was a beautiful townhouse that my lovely sellers had looking absolutely perfect for the market. We sold it in only 16 days for the highest price (for same floorplan) since 2007 – go sellers, go team!!
Please let me know if you know anyone who is thinking of SELLING their home. I would LOVE to show them how I sell my listings for higher prices and in a shorter period of time :)
TESTIMONIAL of the MONTH:
“Naomi, thank you again for your enthusiastic, professional service. We are thrilled that you and your team worked so hard to sell our condo. We will certainly recommend you to our Victoria friends.”
NEW PRICE – Gorgeous Views - 68 Songhees #308 - $580,000
We are getting lots of showings thanks to the staging, beautiful photos and open houses, but no bites yet... this price adjustment ought to bring further attention...
NEW LISTING – Back on the market - 2908 Corrine Place – 4bed, 2 bath, beautifully renovated house in Goldstream - $459,000!!!
SOLD!!! 2752 Peatt Rd #200 – Congrats to my sellers who switched up the paint colours and invested in some staging in order to compete with the brand new construction across the street. Their efforts in prepping for sale and all the previous upgrades they put in paid off!! They sold for an excellent price in this tough market – yahoo!
NEW LISTING – 68 Songhees #308 – 2bed +DEN, 2 bath ocean view condo in the Songhees! - $585,000
Sunny, OCEAN VIEW 2BR, 2BTH home plus DEN! Gorgeous, bright living w/GAS FIRE, dining & gourmet kitchen w/GAS STOVE, wall oven, GRANITE & eating bar. Spacious master w/walk-in closet & serene SPA ENSUITE. Nicely SEPARATED 2ND BR, full bath & DEN! All principle rooms w/views to ocean, Olympic Mt's & Victoria harbour! Shutters has undergone further upgrades & is truly the sought after destination address it was born to be. Sun yourself on your enormous 36ft SOUTH FACING DECK, relax by the POOL, enjoy a HOT TUB, steam or sauna or book a MASSAGE downstairs! Visit the private fitness centre or STROLL INTO TOWN along the water! STORAGE locker & u/g SECURE PARKING incld. plus visitor parking. PETS, rentals & ALL AGES welcome. Very well priced!
JUST SOLD!!! – 710 Massie #102
Alicia’s listing got an offer within 2 weeks and is now SOLD!! This girl knows what she is doing I tell ya!!
NEW LISTING (My colleague, Alicia Moravec, just listed...)
710 Massie #102 – June 15th 2012 - 3bed, 3 bath Townhouse in Langford - $359,000
Beautiful, BRIGHT townhome w/the indoor & outdoor SPACE you need! This 3BR, 3BTH home offers a large kitchen w/eating bar, NEW COUNTERS & APPLIANCES, open to spacious dining (room for whole dining set!) Updated bthrm on main plus sunken living room w/bonus cozy fireside nook overlooking deck & SUNNY, FULLY FENCED backyard w/patio! Upstairs are 3 nicely sized rooms includ. generous master w/vaulted ceiling, walk thru closet & FULL ENSUITE! Basement provides HUGE multi-purpose family room. FRESH PAINT, NEWER FLOORING, lighting & much more! Low strata fee & well run complex. PETS, rentals & ALL AGES WELCOME! Walk to ALL amenities & enjoy a quick commute to town. Full GARAGE, plus driveway parking & an ADDITIONAL SPOT! Amazing value - act fast!
SOLD to my BUYER - Logan Ave – Lovely 4bed, 2 bath home in beautiful Gorge - $520,000 – Gorgeous upgrades, nice floorplan, perfect backyard, attractive street, close to town, the list goes on and on!! Congrats to my clients who recognized the value – I know they will be so happy with their investment :)
SOLD to my BUYER – Sayward Hill Cres – Incredible 3 bed, 3 bath condo in Cordova Bay - $910,000. One of the most impressive condos I have seen (and I’ve seen some beauties!) And by far the nicest condo I have seen under $1mill! Congrats to my client who trusted her instincts and took a leap of faith!!
And another HUGE thank you to the unnamed past client who recommended me as her agent!
NEW PRICE – 470A Royal Bay Drive - $425,000 – Priced same as last comparable sale – Excellent value – Come and see!!
HOT NEW LISTING!!
2752 Peatt Rd #200 – June 1, 2012 - 3 bed, 2 bath loft style townhome in Langford! - $325,000
FAR better value than buying new! 3BR, 2BATH, 1230+sqft, 2 level above-ground townhouse in downtown Westshore! Main has 2 nicely sized bdrms, full bath w/DOUBLE SINK & ensuite cheater door, loads of CLOSET SPACE & SUNNY open concept living, kitchen & dining (room for your table!) Top floor has trendy LOFT style bdrm w/its own 4pc bath, private deck & skylight, perfect for home OFFICE or family. UPGRADES include gorgeous hard flooring thu-out main, modern backsplash, STAINLESS appliances. Private entry on street level! Balance of warranty, PETS & RENTALS welcome, UNDERCOVER PARKING plus extra available! Super LOW strata fee - only 4 units in complex! Compare to competition & appreciate the STORAGE, PRIVACY, PARKING & ROOM SIZES!
Open Sun 1-3
505 Cook #404 – Congrats to my sellers who (I believe) used the power of intention and visualization to attract the perfect buyer to their condo within a week of being on the market!! It didn’t hurt that their place showed beautifully of course!
HIGHEST SELLING PRICE in the building EVER!!!!!!! I’m feeling pretty chuffed about that – and my sellers should too!
PRICE CHANGE – 470A Royal Bay Dr – NOW $439,000!!!!
NEW LISTING – 505 Cook #404 – May 1, 2012 – 2 Bed +LOFT, 2 Bath condo in Cook st village!! $350,000
Fresh updates and a clean floorplan make this condo stand out! Offering 1363 sqft, two nicely sized bedrooms & two bathrooms PLUS a loft - perfect for THIRD bedroom, office or flex space, this bright, sky-lit, TOP FLOOR home features vaulted ceilings, fabulous CORK flooring throughout principle rooms & travertine in baths, all new paint, trim, kitchen counters, shower surround & modern lighting. Enjoy relaxing sun sets from the sunroom year round plus loads of organized closet space including master WALK-IN, plus LAUNDRY in unit! Secure u/g parking (including guest & additional spots) & a storage locker. All in a solid, updated building located minutes from the Cook st Village, downtown, Dallas Rd & the BEACH! Largest one in building!
NEW LISTING – 470A Royal Bay Drive – April 2012 – 3 bed, 3 bath Townhome in Colwood’s prestigious Royal Bay - $450,000
Perfect family neighbrhood & best location in complex! With sunny ocean & city outlook & natural treed backdrop, this townhome offers living w/gas f/p & full dining PLUS eat-in kitchen overlooking family rm w/majestic forest views. Sunny deck in front looks over common grass for kids & dog, private deck & bonus patio in back (rare in complex) for BBQ & play. 3BR's up incl.master w/ensuite & huge front BR for kids, guests or primo office w/views! Upgrades incl.hard flooring thru-out main, laundry sink, ceramic top range & skylight. Loads of storage, 2 car garage (in tandem) plus HUGE driveway. Great strata, incredible location - 20mins to town, 5 to beach, park & RedBarn. Excellent schools & on bus route. Nature walks start at your doorstep!
Almost 600 real estate listings have sold since January 1st in Victoria and area. Over half have been in the last two weeks or so. Things are picking up, folks!
Despite there being over 3700 listings in total right now, this is a pretty good time to list (if you are wanting to sell this year) as many buyers have recently become more serious and the influx of listings we expect in the Spring has not yet hit. For some houses close to town I would go so far as to say it is a slight seller’s market. The condo market closer to town, however, is more balanced right now. For most properties further out of town, it is a buyer’s market. With new many developments springing up, it can be hard for older properties to compete and values have come down for many of these re-sale homes. There are some amazing opportunities on the Westshore right now, for example.
In my opinion, for buyers, it is all about looking for a deal right now and they are out there! If you can look past some shag carpeting and outdated lighting, there are some great properties that have been sitting around waiting for an offer. If you want new, there are some steals at new projects in and around town, as developers have felt the pinch in the last few years as well.
For sellers, it is all about staging (making home look spacious, clean and crisp and appealing to a wide audience,) proper presentation of the listing online and pricing strategically. I have many tricks up my sleeve when it comes to making my listings stand out and getting the most money for my clients at the end of the day. When you do it right, you never have to wonder if your listing is getting a fair shot. Let me know if you’d like more info and advice specifically for selling or buying.
Here is a recent picture of our little Nathan
He is almost 11 months and has been walking for a couple of months now – phewf! He is starting to look less like a drunk as he teeters around and more like a rascal that I have to run to keep up with! He is so much fun and learning new things every day. Who knew time could go so fast – almost a year – unbelievable!
TESTIMONIAL of the Month:
Thank you Naomi, you were AMAZING to work with! This was our first time selling a house and Naomi walked us through the whole process. We followed her guidance and were able to sell our house in 5 days in a weak market for very close to asking price!! I was referred to Naomi through another happy client and would highly recommend her to anyone. She is smart, professional, motivated and works hard to make sure that she gets the best possible outcomes for her clients.
SOLD – 3120 Quadra - Feb 1st
My clients were thrilled to get an offer within a few days of being listed. They smartly priced their home just a hair above market value and got a full 99% of their asking price. Pricing at the round figure of $500,000 allowed their listing to show up on more buyer searches. Simple updates to their home’s decor and following all my team’s staging advice made the home show perfectly for all buyers. Their hard work, smart decisions and trust in me paid off! Thank you again to my past clients for the referral!
NEW LISTING - 2908 Corrine Pl. - Jan 27th - 4 bed, 2 bath beautifully renovated house in beautiful Goldstream, Westshore $475,000
Freshly renovated 4 BD home in a well established family neighbourhood. Close to schools, parks, lakes, shopping, buses & a short commute from town, this home sits on an aprox .20 acre lot & has been treated to many recent upgrades! Two stunning fully remodelled bathrooms, fabulous new flooring, contemporary paint colours, new trim, alluring lighting, expanded closets, newer windows, updated kitchen w/attractive, super functional eat-in island equip w/storage, wine rack, bar seating & custom pot lights! Plus new high efficiency gas furnace & upgraded electrical & plumbing. Outside enjoy new deck w/access from both kitchen & sunroom, patio & huge grassy, landscaped side yards perfect for kids & gardening. Quick possession easily arranged.
NEW PRICE - $399,000 – 3211 Ernhill - Jan 25th - 3 bed, 3 bath townhome off the beaten path in Langford
Gorgeous upgraded townhome in Creekside Village. Full appliance package upgrade! Spacious sky-lit open concept living w/15 ft vaulted ceiling, 3-way gas f/p, bright dining, large kitchen w/bar plus pantry/storage. All freshly painted. Sunny, private patio space w/room to relax & BBQ plus grass! Large master fit for King bed w/walk-thru closet to full ensuite. Two other beds & full bath up plus main floor den for home office! Two ext. parking plus garage (260 sqft included as sqft fin) provides optional addit. living space (rec room, gym or storage!) Better than new home in safe, quiet, family neighbourhood w/parks, schools & ALL shopping close, yet tucked away on no-thru street! Priced right w/recent sales in complex. Come and see!
JUST LISTED - 3120 Quadra - Jan 23rd - 3 Bed, 3 Bath 1930’s home in Mayfair area of Victoria $500,000
Character meets updates big & small! Entry leads to spacious living w/charming coved ceilings & inlaid oak floors. Nicely sized separate dining flows to attractive, recently updated kitchen. 2 good sized BR's up & 2.5 baths. Main bath beautifully modernized! Down is abundant storage & recently reno'd 1BR accommodation w/own laundry & side entrance - does not overlook backyard. Outside enjoy West facing, ground level deck, grassed area & lots of space to park off street! Newer stucco, ext paint, high efficiency furnace, electrical, plumbing, windows & roof! Quiet part of street & double pane thermals mean peace & quiet. This home is spacious, comfortable, delightful & move-in-ready plus only a short walk to town, buses & shopping! Priced right!
Happy New Year!
The new stats are out re-capping 2011’s Victoria real estate market trends.
Scroll down to the graph links at the bottom of the page above. The last two will show you, respectively, average prices over the last two years by month and listing/sales figures.
Nothing too exciting to report... It was a balanced year with high inventory but fairly healthy sales figures as well. Likely this stable environment will continue this year and for the foreseeable future.