Mortgage Stress Test Taking a Toll on Housing Sales – Benchmark Prices Rise

Mortgage Stress Test Taking a Toll on Housing Sales – Benchmark Prices Rise

Vancouver Island, BC – The mortgage stress test, also known as Guideline B-20, is taking a toll on housing sales throughout the province, and Vancouver Island is no exception. Sales of single-family homes in January dropped by 28 per cent from one year ago, albeit they did rise by 23 per cent from December 2018.

Last month, 209 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 170 in December and 290 one year ago. Apartment sales were 20 per cent lower than in January 2018, while 34 townhouses sold last month compared to 33 the previous year.

Inventory of single-family homes in January rose by 32 per cent from one year ago (987 compared to 748) and was nearly five per cent higher than in December. Active listings of apartments climbed by 38 per cent (219 to 303) year over year and townhouses by 60 per cent (103 to 165).

The 2018 housing market behaved as expected, moderating after the record-setting pace set in 2016 and 2017. Guideline B20 eroded the purchasing power of some prospective home buyers by as much as 20 per cent.

Despite lower demand, however, year-over-year benchmark prices of single-family homes continue to rise board-wide, up around nine per cent from January 2018. Price increases in individual markets ranged from five per cent in Nanaimo to 17 per cent in Port Alberni. Modest month-over-month price reductions occurred in Campbell River, the Comox Valley, and Parksville-Qualicum while prices in Duncan, Nanaimo, and Port Alberni increased slightly from December 2018. The yearover-year benchmark prices of apartments and townhouses board-wide increased by 11 and 10 per cent, respectively.

VIREB’s housing market has transitioned from one favouring sellers to one that is balanced or near balanced. On the street, REALTORS® are reporting fewer multiple offers, with many buyers taking more of a wait-and-see approach. Some are waiting until spring in the hope that inventory goes up and prices come down. Balanced markets offer buyers more choice and more room to negotiate, while sellers may need to curb their expectations.

“Right now, many sellers still want to list their homes at 2016 and 2017 sale prices, and that just isn’t realistic,” says 2019 president Kaye Broens. “When fewer buyers are competing for a property, sellers need to be far more strategic, which is why the advice of a local REALTOR® is so crucial. We’ll conduct a comparative marketing analysis using recent sales data to determine an optimal selling price for your home.”

The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $504,500 in January, a nine per cent increase from one year ago but a slight drop from December. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) In the apartment category, the benchmark price climbed to $318,800, up 11 per cent from last year and slightly less than in December. The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $407,600 last month, up 10 per cent over January 2018 but down slightly from December.

Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $412,300, an increase of 12 per cent over January 2018. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $498,000, up nine per cent from last January. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $469,400, up 10 per cent from January 2018. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose five per cent to $541,700 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 12 per cent to $579,800. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $302,700 in January, up 17 per cent from one year ago. – 30 -

PARKSVILLE, B.C. STUDENT EXPERIMENT GOING INTO SPACE

Student Experiment Going Into Space
PARKSVILLE, B.C., Canada – January 14, 2019) It’s official! A science experiment designed by five École Ballenas students will go into space. This summer, when the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Mission 13 to the International Space Station (ISS) launches, an experiment, titled Investigating the Growth Patterns of Alfalfa (Medicagosativa) Sprouts in Microgravity: a Potential Nourishment for Future Manned Spaceflight, will be on board.

“We’re very fortunate to be part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP),” enthused Gillian Wilson, Assistant Superintendent, School District 69 (Qualicum). “The experience is preparing today’s learners for tomorrow’s
world. It has been an unprecedented applied learning opportunity that emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math.

Thanks to over $18,000 of funding, made possible by the Karen and Fred Green Fund (held at Vancouver Foundation) and Magellan Aerospace, over 400 students across the school district learned about the microgravity environment of space and created science experiment proposals.”

A local panel of judges reviewed experiment proposals, developed by students in grades 4 to 12, and chose three for submission to the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) based in Maryland U.S.A. The experiment proposals included:
• Will Mold Grow Differently on Bread in a Microgravity Zone?
Arrowview Elementary School. Written by Emily Anderson, Avalon Carey, Liam Einarson, Ethan Gamble, Joshua Gauvin, Evin Izdebski, Novie Pratte, Damien Roberts, Karli Taylor and Jacob Waitson.

• The Growth Rate and Pattern of Bacteria (Bacillus Subtilis) in a Microgravity Environment École Ballenas Secondary. Written by Amanda Litton, David Downey, Caitlin Holme, Connor Litton, and Nasuka Nakazawa.
• Investigating the Growth Patterns of Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa) Sprouts in Microgravity: a Potential Nourishment for Future Manned Spaceflights
École Ballenas Secondary. Written by Marco Loffredi, Victor Kamel, Robert Lachance, Alexander Marshall and Filipe Pereira.
From the submissions, the SSEP Step 2 Review Board chose Investigating the Growth Patterns of Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa) Sprouts in Microgravity: a Potential Nourishment for Future Manned Spaceflights to be conducted on the International Space Station.
“Students, who proposed the chosen experiment, are busy making preparations,” explained Carl Savage, Science Teacher and SSEP Community Program Director, School District 69 (Qualicum).

“They are working to refine their experiment and equip two micro labs; one lab will journey to the ISS and the other will remain on Earth. While astronauts
are conducting the Alfalfa Sprout experiment in space, Ballenas students will be conducting the same experiment at school.” Adding to the excitement and “real-world” experience, students plan to raise funds to view the ISS launch at
Kennedy Space Center in Florida and present their findings at the SSEP National Conference in Washington D.C.
ABOUT THE STUDENT SPACEFLIGHT EXPERIMENTS PROGRAM
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is an initiative of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), located in the United States, and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, which works internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp, PBC and NanoRacks, LLC, which are working with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the

International Space Station as a National Laboratory.

Craig Bay residents donate food, cash to Salvation Army Food Bank

 

The Parksville strata members donated more than 2,300 pounds of food and $15,000

  • Craig Bay residents stepped up in a big way, donating more than 2,300 pounds of food and $15,000 to the Salvation Army Food Bank.

The annual food drive is organized by a committee of six Craig Bay residents; Penny Rutherford, food drive co-ordinator, Jane Peverett, Joan McCully, Maureen Maitland, Karen Eakins and Gloria Hall.

This is the committee’s fifth year organizing the food drive that was started six years ago by Craig Bay resident Patricia Hogarth.

Housing Market in 2018 Performed as Expected

Housing Market in 2018 Performed as Expected

NANAIMO, BC – Sales of single-family homes in December dropped by 48 per cent from one year ago and were 44 per cent lower than in November.

Last month, 170 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 304 in November and 328 one year ago. Apartment sales in December were 65 per cent lower than in December 2017, while the number of townhouses sold in December dropped by two per cent from one year ago. Annual sales of single-family homes in 2018 totalled 4,543, a 19 per cent drop from 2017. However, this reduction reflects the market returning to more normal levels after the robust housing markets witnessed in 2016 and 2017.

Inventory of single-family homes last month rose by 23 per cent from one year ago (941 to 761) but dipped by 12 per cent from November 2018. Active listings of apartments rose by 20 per cent (225 to 270) year over year and townhouses by 59 per cent (93 to 148).

The 2018 housing market behaved as expected, moderating after the record-setting pace set in 2016 and 2017. Government policy-side measures introduced to cool the market, such as the mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20), eroded the purchasing power of some prospective home buyers by as much as 20 per cent.

Despite lower demand, however, year-over-year benchmark prices of single-family homes continue to rise board-wide, up 10 per cent from December 2017. Price increases in individual markets ranged from seven per cent in Nanaimo to 20 per cent in Port Alberni. Small month-over-month price reductions from November to December were posted in Duncan, Nanaimo, and Port Alberni. The year-over-year benchmark prices of apartments and townhouses board-wide increased by 12 and 13 per cent, respectively.

Decreased demand and additional inventory are helping VIREB’s long-running sellers’ market transition to one that is balanced or near-balanced. However, “micro markets” are omnipresent in many communities, favouring sellers for moderately priced properties and benefitting buyers for higher-end homes. Overall, however, REALTORS® are reporting that they are negotiating fewer multiple offers, with many buyers taking more of a wait-and-see approach.

“Realistically pricing your home is important in any market, but when fewer buyers are competing for a property, sellers need to be far more strategic,” says Don McClintock, 2018 VIREB President.

McClintock also notes that property assessments, which were recently issued, complicate the pricing process for sellers who may not realize that the assessed figure is based on the previous year and does not reflect a home’s current value. The expertise of a REALTOR®, who will conduct a comparative market analysis using recent sales data, is hugely beneficial when determining an optimal sales price.

The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $506,300 in December, a 10 per cent increase from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) In the apartment category, the benchmark price climbed to $319,000, up 13 per cent from last year. The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $411,500 last month, up 12 per cent over December 2017 but down slightly from November.

Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $414,600, an increase of 13 per cent over December 2017. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $508,100, up 10 per cent from last December. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $466,600, up 10 per cent from December 2017 but down two per cent month over month. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose seven per cent to $538,300 but dropped by two per cent from November. The Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 11 per cent to $580,500 while the cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $299,000 in December, up 20 per cent from one year ago but down four per cent from November.

Prices Continue Rising Despite Moderating Sales

 

NANAIMO, BC – Sales of single-family homes in October were 11 per cent higher than in September but dipped by 16 per cent from October 2017.

Last month, 385 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 347 in September and 458 one year ago. The number of apartments and townhouses changing hands last month dropped by eight and 21 per cent, respectively.

This year’s housing market is behaving as expected, moderating after the record-setting pace set in 2016 and 2017. Government policy-side measures introduced to cool the market, such as the mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20) and higher interest rates, are taking their toll on housing sales throughout the country.

On the positive side, the provincial economy is still doing well, and the British Columbia Real Estate Association expects housing sales to make a modest recovery during the next couple of quarters. Further, Vancouver Island has so far been somewhat immune to the effects of Guideline B-20 because the broad demographic trend in our area includes baby boomers and retirees who do not typically need mortgages.

However, an additional government policy that could reduce that insulating effect is the future speculation tax. Although it currently applies only to Nanaimo and Lantzville, the tax could discourage some potential buyers from relocating to Vancouver Island, particularly those who purchase a home well ahead of retirement.

Despite lower demand, prices in the VIREB area are still rising year over year. However, the board-wide benchmark price of a single-family home did drop slightly from September, and modest month-over-month price reductions on single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses did occur in several zones.

Decreased demand and stabilizing inventory are helping VIREB’s long-term sellers’ market evolve into one that is more balanced. Inventory of single-family homes in October was up slightly from one year ago (1,175 compared to 1,138) but down eight per cent from September. There were 322 active listings of apartments in October, up seven per cent from 2017 while the supply of townhouses rose by 28 per cent year over year. Multiple offers have slowed, and buyers are taking more of a wait-and-see approach, which means some sellers will have to curb their expectations.

“Realistically pricing your home is important in any market, but when fewer buyers are competing for a property, sellers need to be prudent when determining a sale price,” says Don McClintock, 2018 VIREB President. “Overpriced homes take longer to sell, so it’s a good idea to consult a local REALTOR® who can help determine the optimal price for your property.”

The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $508,200 in October, an 11 per cent increase from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) In the apartment category, the benchmark price climbed to $313,500, up 16 per cent from last year. The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $411,800 last month, up 13 per cent over October 2017.

Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $408,100, an increase of 14 per cent over October 2017. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $501,400, up nine per cent from last year. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $475,700, up 12 per cent from October 2017. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose nine per cent to $548,000 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by nine per cent to $570,200. The cost of a single-family home in Port Alberni rech $300,300, up 18 per cent from one year ago.

VIREB Sales Bounce Back Slightly From July But Still Lower Than in 2017

SEPTEMBER, 2018 NANAIMO, BC – Sales of single-family homes in August were seven per cent higher than in July but dipped by 14 per cent from August 2017.

Last month, 467 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 438 in July and 540 one year ago. The number of apartments changing hands last month dropped by 13 per cent while townhouse sales increased by 16 per cent.

Inventory of single-family homes in August was down slightly from one year ago (1,342 compared to 1,352), dropping five per cent from July but still significantly higher than the 749 properties available in January. The supply of apartments and townhouses dipped 14 per cent and 10 per cent from one year ago, respectively.

The weaker sales seen so far in 2018 were expected because 2016 and 2017 were exceptionally healthy years for real estate, setting record levels that could not be maintained indefinitely. However, VIREB’s housing market is still strong compared to where it sat four years ago.

“The broad demographic trend for the VIREB area continues to include baby boomers and retirees, who are less affected by stricter mortgage qualification rules because they don’t typically need mortgages,” says Cameron Muir, chief economist for the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA). “As a result, even when sales bottom out, they’re doing so at lower levels on Vancouver Island.”

In its 2018 Second-Quarter Housing Forecast, BCREA anticipates that MLS® residential sales in the province will decline by nine per cent to 94,200 units this year from 103,700 in 2017.

“B.C. housing markets have benefited from the provincial economy expanding well above trend growth over the past four years,” says BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir. “However, economic growth is expected to slow and reflect the long term average this year.”

VIREB’s long-term sellers’ market does appear to be moving towards more balanced conditions. The benchmark price of a single-family home for the overall board area posted its first significant drop this year, with modest price reductions also occurring in Campbell River, Duncan, and Parksville-Qualicum Beach. Multiple offers are not as frequent, but for homes in the $300,000 to $500,000 range, they are still more common than not. That said, sellers still need to price their homes accordingly. Today’s buyers are savvy and well-informed when they arrive at the negotiating table.

“Sellers need to be realistic when it comes to price,” says Don McClintock, 2018 VIREB President. “Not every property is worth a million dollars, and overpriced homes just take longer to sell.”

The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $505,800 in August, a 12 per cent increase from one year ago but down from June’s $510,300 and July’s $510,700. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) The benchmark price of an apartment last month was $317,700, up 20 per cent from one year ago. In the townhouse category, the benchmark price hit $413,600, up 15 per cent over August 2017.

Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $404,300, an increase of 12 per cent over August 2017. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $509,200, up 13 per cent from last year. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $455,100, up eight per cent from August 2017. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 10 per cent to $546,200 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 13 per cent to $574,200. The cost of a benchmark home in Port Alberni reached $303,600, up 22 per cent from one year ago.

Prices Continue to Sizzle in Summer Housing Market

 

 

NANAIMO, B.C. – family homes, apartments, and townhouses continue to rise in the VIREB area despite cooling sales in some markets.

Last month, 437 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 438 in June and 556 one year ago, a decrease of 21 per cent. The number of apartments changing hands last month was virtually the same as July 2017 (100 compared to 101), but in the townhouse category, sales dropped by nine per cent.

Housing demand in the VIREB area has shifted lower so far in 2018, likely due to stricter mortgage qualification rules (Guideline B-20) for conventional borrowers and rising interest rates that are taking their toll on household purchasing power and affordability. However, because many of our buyers are retirees, who do not typically need mortgages, the VIREB market has been somewhat sheltered from the effects of Guideline B-20.

In its 2018 Second-Quarter Housing Forecast, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) anticipates that MLS® residential sales in the province will decline by nine per cent to 94,200 units this year from 103,700 in 2017.

“B.C. housing markets have benefited from the provincial economy expanding well above trend growth over the past four years,” says BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir. “But economic growth is expected to slow and reflect the long-term average this year.”

On a local level, BCREA predicts that over the next several months, VIREB’s long-term sellers’ market will begin shifting towards a more balanced one. In fact, an interesting development in the VIREB area is that the market seems to be splitting into two in some communities: one that favours sellers for homes $600,000 and under, and a buyers’ market for more expensive properties.

However, even with the high demand for lower-priced properties, sellers still need to price their homes accordingly.

“Sellers need to be realistic when it comes to price,” says Kaye Broens, 2018 President-Elect. “Overpriced homes simply take longer to move.”

Connecting with a local REALTOR is beneficial in both buyers’ and sellers’ markets, adds Broens.

“REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities and can help streamline the buying and selling process to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients,” says Broens.

The benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area reached $510,700 in July, a 12 per cent increase from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) The benchmark price of an apartment last month was $315,900, a 22 per cent increase over last July. In the townhouse category, the benchmark price hit $413,100, up 17 per cent over July 2017.

Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area climbed to $426,300, an increase of 18 per cent over July 2017. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $513,400, up 13 per cent from last year. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $446,700, down slightly from June but up 10 per cent from July 2017. Nanaimo’s benchmark price was $534,300, the same as June but a nine per cent increase from one year ago. The Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 14 per cent to $579,500. The cost of a benchmark home in Port Alberni was $289,200, a slight decrease from June but up 16 per cent from one year ago.

VIREB – Home Sales Cooling But Prices Still Rising

 

WELCOME SUMMER!

 

NANAIMO, BC – Last month, 444 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 518 in May and 617 one year ago. The number of apartments changing hands last month dropped by 21 per cent, but in the townhouse category, sales increased by 26 per cent.

Housing demand in the VIREB area has shifted lower in the first half of 2018 as stricter mortgage qualifications for conventional borrowers and rising interest rates took their toll on household purchasing power and affordability. It is unclear whether the June slowdown is reflective of seasonal summer market conditions or if demand-side policy changes are finally beginning to play a larger role in VIREB’s housing market.

Despite lower sales thus far in 2018, lack of inventory continues to tilt the market in favour of sellers and push prices upwards. The number of single-family homes for sale has been slowly increasing, hitting 1,336 in June, up only three per cent from May but a significant increase from the 893 properties available in January. The supply of townhouses rose by 33 per cent from one year ago, but many of the listings behind these modest inventory gains in both property types are being quickly snapped up by buyers.
In its 2018 Second-Quarter Housing Forecast, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) anticipates that MLS® residential sales in the province will decline by nine per cent to 94,200 units this year from 103,700 in 2017.
“B.C. housing markets have benefited from the provincial economy expanding well above trend growth over the past four years,” says BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir. “However, economic growth is expected to slow and reflect the long-term average this year.”
On a local level, BCREA predicts that over the next eight months, VIREB’s long-term sellers’ market will begin shifting towards more balanced conditions. Further, the pace of price increases will slow if demand keeps declining, but it is unlikely that prices will drop until additional inventory enters the market by way of new construction or buyer appetite decreases drastically.
In the meantime, competition for homes – especially in the $300,000 to $500,000 range – is still modus operandi in the VIREB area, with multiple offers a commonplace occurrence on properties in that price range. Despite buyer demand, however, homes at most price points still need to be reasonably priced.
“For sellers, properly pricing your home remains an important factor,” says Don McClintock, 2018 VIREB President. “Buyers are savvy, and overpriced homes take longer to sell.
Connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market.
“REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities and can help streamline the buying and selling process to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients,” says McClintock.
The benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area reached $510,300 in June, a 15 per cent increase from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) The benchmark price of an apartment last month was $313,300, a slight decrease from May but a 24 per cent increase over last June. In the townhouse category, the benchmark price hit $405,000, up 18 per cent over June 2017.

Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area climbed to $425,800, an increase of 22 per cent over June 2017. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $510,700, up 17 per cent from last year. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $450,500, up 12 per cent from June 2017. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 11 per cent to $534,300, down slightly from May, while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 16 per cent to $575,800. The cost of a benchmark home in Port Alberni reached $293,800, up 22 per cent from one year ago.

VIREB – Single-Family Benchmark Price Surpasses $500,000 in May

 

NANAIMO, BC – The benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area broke the $500,000 mark in May, rising to $507,700, a 17 per cent increase from one year ago. Sales of single-family homes were down 17 per cent from last year but posted a month-over-month increase of nine per cent.

Last month, 520 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 476 in April and 630 one year ago. The number of apartments and townhouses changing hands in May dropped by six per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.

VIREB’s inventory of single-family homes continues to climb, rising from 749 in January 2018 to 1,215 in May. The supply of apartments dropped slightly last month, down six per cent from one year ago, but townhouse inventory rose significantly.

In its 2018 Second-Quarter Housing Forecast, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) anticipates that MLS® residential sales in the province will decline by nine per cent to 94,200 units this year from 103,700 in 2017.

“B.C. housing markets have benefited from the provincial economy expanding well above trend growth over the past four years,” says BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir. “However, economic growth is expected to slow and reflect the longterm average this year.”

Housing demand in the VIREB area shifted lower in the first four months of 2018 as stricter mortgage qualifications for conventional borrowers took their toll on household purchasing power and affordability. Other economic headwinds that could dampen demand include higher interest rates and new provincial taxes. However, the attractiveness of Vancouver Island to retirees and millennials is expected to mitigate their impact somewhat.

Despite lower sales thus far in 2018, lack of inventory continues to tilt the market in favour of sellers and push prices upwards. The pace of these increases could slow somewhat if demand keeps declining, but it is unlikely that prices will drop until additional inventory enters the market by way of new construction.

“Housing starts are up on Vancouver Island, particularly in Nanaimo, so there is some relief on the horizon,” says Janice Stromar, 2018 Past President. “However, in the multi-family category, the time between conception and completion can take several years, which doesn’t help people looking to buy now.”

Since limited inventory is keeping the VIREB area in a sellers’ market, competition for homes – especially in the $300,000 to $500,000 range – means buyers and sellers should strongly consider using a REALTOR®, says Stromar.

“As experienced professionals, we can help streamline the buying and selling process to ensure the best possible outcome while reducing associated risks,” says Stromar.

As noted above, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area reached $507,700 in May, a 17 per cent increase from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) The benchmark price of an apartment last month rose to $314,000, up 25 per cent board-wide from the previous year, while the benchmark price of a townhouse hit $397,100, an 18 per cent increase from May 2017. Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area climbed to $417,500, an increase of 20 per cent over May 2017.

In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $500,500, up 17 per cent from last year. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $450,700, an increase of 15 per cent compared to May 2017. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 14 per cent to $538,500 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 17 per cent to $575,000. The cost of a benchmark home in Port Alberni reached $294,900, up 27 per cent from one year ago.

VIREB – Sales Holding Steady Amid Rising House Prices

 – Sales of single-family homes in the VIREB area rose by 20 per cent month over month in April but remained static from one year ago. Last month, 476 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 398 in March and 476 one year ago.

The number of apartments changing hands in April decreased by six per cent year over year while townhouse sales rose by 26 per cent.

VIREB’s inventory of single-family homes climbed by eight per cent from March 2018 but decreased by six per cent from one year ago. The supply of apartments dropped in April, down 12 per cent from one year ago, but townhouse inventory rose by 30 per cent.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that housing sales in many B.C. jurisdictions are down compared to last year. Guideline B-20 and uncertainty surrounding new provincial taxes appear to be taking their toll on sales in some markets.

Broadening the scope of the Foreign Buyer Tax to include the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) should not have a significant impact on the VIREB housing market. Only 4.4 per cent of RDN residential real estate transactions in 2017 involved foreign buyers. More troubling is the new speculation tax, which is supposed to be implemented later this year. The tax will apply to Nanaimo and Lantzville, but it will take a few months to see whether it has a detrimental impact on sales.

BCREA also expects the Bank of Canada to increase interest rates in the next couple of months, which introduces another risk factor into the housing market.

For now, however, demand is still outpacing supply in the VIREB area, particularly in some price ranges. Properties in the $300,000 to $500,000 range generate multiple offers and sell quickly.However, higher-priced homes are taking longer to sell.

Janice Stromar, 2018 Past President, encourages sellers to take advantage of our current market conditions before any economic headwinds weaken demand.

“Our market has favoured sellers for a long time now, but it won’t last forever,” says Stromar. “However, even in a sellers’ market, you need to price your home correctly because overpriced homes take longer to sell.”

In a competitive housing market, using a REALTOR® can help streamline the buying and selling process to ensure the best possible outcome while mitigating associated risks, adds Stromar.

“REALTORS® are equipped with sales tools, such as custom analytics, to help buyers prepare winning offers and ensure sellers receive the best price for their home,” says Stromar.

In April 2018, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area reached $499,600, up 18 per cent from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) The benchmark price of an apartment last month rose to $305,300, up 25 per cent board-wide from the previous year, while the benchmark price of a townhouse hit $393,200, a 22 per cent increase from April 2017.

Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area climbed to $410,000, an increase of 22 per cent over April 2017. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $487,100, up 17 per cent from last year. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $444,700, an increase of 17 per cent compared to April 2017. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 16 per cent to $537,800 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 18 per cent to $562,800. The cost of a benchmark home in Port Alberni reached $282,000, up 24 per cent from one year ago.