Local Real Estate Summary to the End of March 2017.
Consumer demand has returned to a more typical level over the first 3 months of this year. The average sale price of a single family home in the local area reached $521,542 in March. This represents an increase of 13% over March of last year. The sale price of a patio-home style of condominium made $331,914 representing a decrease of 1% over March of last year. Building lot average sale price of $186,000 is an increase of 4% over last March. However, this is for only 2 lot sales in the month. Low inventory and high demand continues to push real estate pricing higher. March of 2017 compared to last March, shows decreased inventory for single family homes, patio-style condos and building lots by 40%, 60% and 45% respectively. An overall lack of inventory continues to be the story....
Many changes occurred in 2016 affecting real estate in BC.
Real estate market in the Qualicum Beach Parksville Fairwinds Nanoose Bay area of Vancouver Island hear Tom Whitfield's radio interview update on CKNW 980 AM Moneytalks hosted by Victor Adair at http://www.cknw.com/audio/ see September 17 at about 8:51 am for the live broadcast or see the following for the transcript of that interview:
Real estate sales on Vancouver Island have been very strong and it seems the aging boomers really got going on their retirement plans this year.
There has been a dramatic increase in the volume of real estate sales in this area so far this year due to an influx of buyers coming from the Lower Mainland.
Qualicum Beach Parksville real estate is being taken up quickly by Lower Mainland buyers who have arrived, en masse.
The Bank of Canada recently announced that it is maintaining its overnight rate at 0.5% largely due to low energy prices. It is anticipated that the bank will likely remain sidelined for 2016 while the worst of the oil-shock passes. In addition, the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) opted to leave its target rate unchanged as well. The Fed expects that inflation will remain low in the near term but will slowly rise to 2% over the median term as the impact of low energy prices fades. (British Columbia Real Estate Association – January 2016) New mortgage down payment rules will go into effect February 15, 2016. The minimum down payment for new insured mortgages will increase from 5% to 10% for the portion of the house price above $500,000. Properties up to $500,000 will continue to require a minimum of 5% down. Properties in excess of $1,000,000 will still require 20% down.
The number of single family homes sold in the Parksville/Qualicum Beach area was up 19% over the first 8 months of this year compared to last. Sale pricing is up by 4% while days to sell is down to 53, and the number of single family homes being offered for sale at this time is down compared to August of last year. Building lots continue to struggle with the number of lots sold in the first 8 months down by 29% and the days to sell almost double that from last year. This may be due to construction costs having gone up thereby making it more attractive to buy a re-sale home requiring a few renovations. The desire for “less is more” persists. Many are moving towards a more modest-sized home at this stage in life.
Our local real estate market pricing hit bottom in the summer of 2013. However, gains by about the rate of inflation have been the norm since then. We should be in for a very good year in 2015.
So far this year our local market has been fairly active. The stats for the month of August show that over January to the end of August this year compared to last, single family sales are up by 23% with the average selling price up 2%. Sales were predominantly under the threshold of $450,000. The average sale price for a single family home in this region is $386,559 with a median sale price of $357,500. The average days to sell over this first 8 month period is 62 days.
So far this year our market has been fairly active. The stats for the month of April show that over January to the end of April, single family sales are up by 24% with the average selling price up 2%. Sales were predominantly under the threshold of $450,000. The average sale price for a single family home in this region is $385,575 with a median sale price of $354,900. The average days to sell over this first 4 month period is 64 days.
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).
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.
We’ve seen a healthy amount of demand in the market place this year and currently have a more balanced inventory, therefore a stronger market than last year. Single family sales in September showed a 27% increase over the previous year. Year-to-date sales activity has grown by 10% over last year. People should not confuse stronger sales activity with rising prices. Home prices have been quite stable and consistent for much of this year. For instance, the average single family sale price on a year-to-date basis is about $375,000, the same as last year. It is interesting to see a significant increase of 28% in year-to-date sales of building lots. This may in part be due to BC having dropped the 12% HST, as of June 1, 2013, and going back to the 5% GST. This tax change impacts new home construction. Overall sales are up for patio and apartment style condos but down for townhomes. So all-in-all we’ve experienced increased sales activity in 2013 while prices have remained steady.
We are having a good real estate sales market in the first half of this year. Locally, May sales were up 33% over May of last year while June sales were up 18% over last year. Days on the market are running about 20% less than this time last year. Many buyers are recognizing this as a good time to buy. However, some remain on the sidelines waiting for that ‘red hot’ deal while missing out on some really very good buys.
Our market picked up considerably at the end of January and continues to gain momentum during this first quarter. After having experienced a truly miserable winter on the prairies, buyers from Alberta and Saskatchewan have arrived to see that our spring comes in late February!
This newsletter focuses on home renovation. Sometimes we're quick to tear down and rebuild, however, it may make more sense to renovate a home. The BC government has incentives in place until March 1, 2013. These incentives are intended to encourage homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient. So far, the government hasn't said whether these financial incentives will be extended beyond the spring of 2013. For that reason, I thought it might be a good time to remind people about this.
As of August, single family home prices in the Qualicum Beach Parksville area are down 8% over this time last year. Interest rates are at all time lows. After a prolonged period of focus on Euro-zone debt, global confidence in the economy is cautiously maintained. This could be a very good time to buy. Media reporting often highlights the Vancouver and Toronto real estate markets and their skyrocketing home prices. At some point, there may be a price correction in those markets. It is important to keep in mind our own local market conditions. Here, it is a great time to be a buyer.
This could be the best time in a long time to buy. Interest rates are at all time lows. After a prolonged period of focus on euro zone debt, global confidence in the economy is restored. In a recent Globe & Mail article (June 9, 2012) describing 10-year investment returns, 12 leading investment portfolio experts predicted an average long term return of only 4%, or 6% before an expected 2% inflation rate. It may be a very good time to invest in real estate!
I hear the "coulda - woulda - shoulda" phrase from clients often. The time to buy is now. There is a very good selection available. Prices have come down dramatically since 2008, and have stayed down. It's hard to say for how much longer. If you are in a position to make your move, I recommend you do not sit on the sidelines for much longer. Interest rates really don't have much of an effect here as most retirees buy with cash. As the rates are so low, some do still borrow for buying real estate and then invest their other available equity elsewhere.
The following article from the BC Real Estate Association's Chief Economist is particularly relevant at the end of the first quarter in 2012 and leading into the busy Spring real estate season.
At the Housing Outlook 2012 conference in Vancouver, analysts from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) sketched a scenario of surprising stability in the Vancouver and BC market for next year. For all of BC, housing sales are forecast to increase 7.4 per cent, according to CMHC.
Welcome relief may be the best way to describe the reactions of many to two significant announcements for the new housing market made by Minister of Finance Kevin Falcon on February 17, 2012. BCREA thanks the BC government for these measures, which respond directly to concerns expressed for the past two years.
As was universally anticipated, the Bank of Canada opted to hold its target overnight rate at 1 per cent this morning. Ongoing uncertainty in the Euro-zone continues to weigh heavily on the Bank's outlook.
Good news! The HST is going to be eliminated in BC. New home builders and buyers of new homes will be happy to see the HST go.
Wednesday, the provincial government announced the HST transitional rules on housing.
A new survey of BC homeowners and renters on housing affordability and green housing issues suggests consumer confidence concerning real estate purchases may be improving.
If you can afford to make the payments for the next 5 years or so and you love the property, then it's a great time to buy! We have a very good selection of properties to choose from with mortgage interest rates at 40-year lows. Pricing on single family homes has come down about 7 to 10% from about the spring of 2008 level. It is a buyer's market!
RE/MAX Associates once again showed their generosity and compassion, raising $51,800 with the silent and live auctions at the annual "Breakfast of Champions" in support of the Children's Miracle Network and its affiliated hospitals. The event was held on February 7th during the RE/MAX of Western Canada 26th Annual Conference in Victoria, BC, February 5-7, 2009.
Canada has the world's soundest banking system.