REAL ESTATE NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2013
NANOOSE BAY TO QUALICUM BEACH & AREA
VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC
2013 Year End Review & Look Towards 2014
The market stayed strong throughout November and into December of this year. This was a bit unusual as normally sales slow down considerably by early November. This is likely due to a combination of overall strength in the Canadian and U.S. economies plus exceptionally sunny, dry weather throughout this Fall. Meanwhile the prairies went into the usual deep freeze…
2013 was a great year for sales and the outlook for 2014 appears highly promising. Aging boomers have continued working since the 2008 recession and it seems many are now transitioning into their retirement plans. Don’t expect big pre-recession price gains but more likely modest increases by about the rate of inflation at about 2%. It appears we’ve hit bottom in pricing and our real estate inventory is low through all categories. Therefore for different reasons, it’s a good time in the market cycle to buy (low prices) as well as sell (low inventory).
Since BC wisely dumped the HST as of June 1st of this year, activity in home construction has increased dramatically. It’s no surprise that the difference between 12% HST and 5% GST on a new home has made a big difference to buyers and the home construction industry.
Trends in new homes reflect a philosophy of ‘less is more’. Buyers generally want smaller homes but with top quality finishing. Buyers also want energy-efficient homes. With older homes, many are taking advantage of available government grants to apply when renovating to a achieve a much higher energy-saving standard.
Another trend is for aging parents (Matures - born prior to 1946) to ‘live-in’ with their baby-boomer kids for as long as possible rather than head for a retirement home. Some of the Boomer’s kids, the Millennials (born 1977-1995), haven’t yet been able to launch their own careers as so many of us Boomers are hanging on to jobs and working longer. Some are back living with their parents for now. Another interesting trend is for Boomer singles (especially women) to share costs in a ‘group home.’ All of these require a home with adequate bedrooms or even a self-contained suite.
Here’s another emerging trend. In North America, about 3% of those in relationships and over the age of 65 are opting for a new lifestyle choice called ‘living apart together’ or LAT. This involves keeping separate homes to go home to…With over 50% of marriages ending in divorce, maybe this makes a lot of sense!
Aging boomers are much more active today in retirement. Proximity to walking trails, the beach, golf and downtown are becoming more of a requirement when buying. I definitely see a lot more retirees cycling these days, the local gyms are quite busy as is our beautiful Ravensong swimming pool. Did I mention that we have 6 local golf courses here....plus Mt. Washington skiing is under 1 hour away? How great is that!
In nearby Nanaimo – there’s a move to resurrect a walk-on ferry to service harbour to harbour connections between downtown Nanaimo and the Pan Pacific Hotel area of Vancouver. This may prove convenient for those not able or unwilling to pay for real estate at those exorbitant Vancouver prices, yet want to periodically commute to their downtown Vancouver contacts from Nanaimo.
Quite frankly, I’m surprised we aren’t seeing way more folks leaving the Lower Mainland and coming over here to buy. At those prices, why not sell out and pay way less over here! Invest the rest and even buy an additional inexpensive condo in Arizona to escape to for the four months of wet Coastal winter. We’ll likely see more of that in 2014 as prices continue to skyrocket in the Lower Mainland. Hey, it’s a short ferry ride to go back over for a visit once in a while…
New System for Home Sale Stats – Home Price Index
Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Tuesday, November 5, 2013 – submitted by VIREB
Sales activity across the Vancouver Island housing market area continued to improve in the month of October, resulting in a 29 per cent increase in unit sales over this time last year. As sales momentum continues to build after a particularly slow market last year, we are witnessing a return to our historical averages across the board area.
This month, VIREB joins the Canadian Real Estate Association and ten major real estate markets in Canada by adopting a new method of statistical reporting called the MLS Home Price Index, or HPI. Mirrored after the Consumer Price Index, the HPI calculates the value for a typical “benchmark home”, which is a notional dwelling that shares a specific set of qualitative and quantitative attributes that are typical for the type of residential dwelling in question.
For October 2013, the benchmark price for a single-family benchmark home in the VIREB coverage area was $310,000, with an MLS HPI index value of 145.5. (This represents a 45.5 per cent increase since January 2005, when the index was 100). The benchmark price for a single-family home in Parksville, Qualicum Beach was $347,300, dipping 0.4 per cent from last year.
Ask Tom for more about HPI…
Central Vancouver Island Market Statistics:
What’s New on the Web?
To serve you more, in December we launched 3 more websites. With over 85% of buyers starting their home search on the Internet, this only makes sense. Each website has a uniquely special feature:
Local Golf Courses
Local Hotels and B&Bs
·Visit New Websites:
See the following link to testimonials from Tom’s clients http://www.tomwhitfield.ca/testimonials.html
If you don’t see the listing you want on the websites, please let me know and I will find it for you. If you are coming here to house-hunt at some time in 2014, then please let me know and I will schedule time to show you suitable properties. I am highly grateful to my past clients… Thank you for your business!! I do enjoy referral business by way of satisfied past clients. I am for sure available to assist your family and friends with their real estate needs!
Merry Christmas! I hope to see you in 2014!