Housing trends on Vancouver Island
And we thought last year was interesting…
Recent months have seen record-low supply across the Island, including the Comox Valley, and that trend is continuing. This has resulted in an uptick in the number of multiple offers and unprecedented above-asking price sales – great for sellers, frustrating for buyers and a crazy time for realtors!
Following are Island stats from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) for February 2021.
The past couple of months in the Comox Valley market
As noted in my last market update, record-low inventory ended the year. And as we head into spring, that continues to be the trend. This low supply and high demand have resulted in significant increases from last year. In January, the benchmark price of a single-family home was $620,100, up 11 per cent from a year ago. In February, the benchmark price sat at $631,400, up by 15 per cent from the previous year. Sellers are getting more than they ask, some even into six figures – unheard of!
Other Island markets this year
The entire Island is seeing a significant increase in pricing. According to the latest VIREB statistics, single-family homes in Campbell River hit $547,700 in February, up 18 per cent from last year. Duncan saw an increase of 17 per cent from this time in 2020. Nanaimo’s benchmark rose by 12 per cent, and Parksville-Qualicum area saw increases of 13 per cent to $695,600. Port Alberni and the North Island had 16 and 12 per cent year-over-year increases respectively.
While low interest rates have played a part, the major factor in the Island’s markets is the lack of supply. And that’s a hard one to do anything about, as 2012 VIREB President Ian Mackay explains.
“The federal and provincial governments tend to focus on demand-side policies instead of addressing the supply issue. Taxes and tighter mortgage restrictions are stopgap measures that don’t resolve the underlying problem.”
According to VIREB, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) doesn’t expect the inventory situation to improve until more supply comes online later in the year. Meanwhile, BCREA and local real estate boards are encouraging provincial and regional-level policymakers to promote streamlining development processes in order to allow municipalities to expand supply more quickly in an attempt to meet demands.
If you’re looking to buy, in or out of the Comox Valley, working with an experienced local realtor is essential during times of multiple offers.
And if you are selling…lucky you!