And what Spring and Summer 2018 may hold for Vancouver Island realty
So far this year, sales numbers are down slightly from 2017 but housing prices continue to go up due to a shortage of inventory.
That being said, this past half year has been another active one for Comox Valley Realtors®. And the same is true for much of the rest of the Island.
As the selling season ramps up, here’s a quick look at what’s been keeping realtors busy and what we can expect for the near future.
Low inventory keep sellers happy
As noted in the most recent Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) release, sales of single-family Island homes, apartments and townhouses all dipped in March, 2018. The feeling is that this is likely due to a combination of government policy changes, stricter mortgage qualification rules and consumer uncertainty.
According to VIREB’s recent stats, last month, 399 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 316 in February and 482 one year ago. The number of apartments changing hands in March decreased by 23 per cent while year-over-year townhouse sales remained static.
Limited inventory remains an issue for most buyers. There were 979 single-family homes for sale in March compared to 812 in February and 1,023 one year ago. The supply of apartments decreased in March by 12 per cent from the previous year. Interestingly though, townhouse inventory rose by 30 per cent.
What’s happening provincially and elsewhere on the Island
The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports sales in most B.C. jurisdictions are down compared to last year, likely due to uncertainty surrounding new provincial taxes.
While the Foreign Buyer Tax scope has been broadened to include the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN), it shouldn’t significantly impact elsewhere on the Island as only 4.4 per cent of 2017 RDN residential real estate transactions involved foreign buyers.
However, a new speculation tax targeting homeowners that don’t pay income tax in B.C. may influence out-of-province buyers. The provincial government did introduce exemptions for Parksville, Qualicum Beach and the Gulf Islands, but this tax will still be applied in Nanaimo and Lantzville.
And in the Comox Valley . . .
On a local level, as with the rest of the Island, it’s still a sellers’ market. Multiple offers remain the status quo for reasonably priced homes. The benchmark price in the Comox Valley for a single-family home was $475,600, up 17 per cent from last year.
For buyers, it can be a challenge to get your offer in quickly and at the right price. And for sellers, it’s still important to keep your pricing realistic, as buyers are wise and overpriced homes take a longer time to sell.
With today’s market, working with an experienced Realtor is more important than ever. If you have any further queries regarding the local and Island market, please feel free to get in touch.
I’m happy to provide help with any aspect of buying, selling or moving in the Comox Valley and beyond. Please contact me, check out my website or visit my Facebook page to have your real estate questions answered.