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! If you are a potential Buyer, you might want to consider that the time has arrived.
"BC home sales continued at a modest pace in February," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "Despite improved affordability, many potential buyers and sellers remain in a holding pattern. With pent up demand now becoming latent in the market, it's not a matter of if, but when home sales rise above their current pace." This is from BC Real Estate Association today.
Folks, if you are a Buyer, you might want to consider that the time has arrived. Prices came down considerably during the post-recessionary period after 2008. Interest rates have held steady at near-record lows. The inventory of available homes is also good. I don't see prices coming down any further here. The national media has reported an oversupply of new condos in Vancouver and Toronto. That's not the case here. Overall sales volume was down here about 20% in 2012. There is a built-up supply of buyers who have been waiting. I see 2013 as being in a steady state in terms of pricing with possibly an upturn in 2014 based on whatever happens this year with sales. I anticipate a very good year for sales in 2013. Our market picked up considerably at the end of January and continues to pick up speed. With a miserable winter on the prairies, many people from Alberta and Saskatchewan are showing up here looking at homes. Many are also returning home to get their homes listed after seeing for themselves that the crocuses have been blooming for a few weeks and the daffodils are up and just about to bloom here. It's interesting to see locals buying who see the deals and are prepared to move on them, thereby upsizing, downsizing, moving to better neighborhoods etc. That's my 2 cents worth for now.... Cheers.
VOLUNTEERING - Many people believe they don't have the time to get personally involved or that they have nothing to offer. Everyone has something to offer.
We all know how important the US housing industry is to our economy here in Canada. See this link to RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly in a recent interview on Fox Business News.
Parksville, Qualicum Beach and the handful of quaint neighbouring communities including Coombs and Nanoose Bay offer families an idyllic paradise for a fun getaway. Fondly referred to as Oceanside by locals, the Parksville/Qualicum Beach area is a place where iPods and wi-fi are traded for buckets and spades, and little hands, sticky from oversized scoops of ice cream, are washed in the warm tide pools. Here, the words ‘I’m bored’ are forgotten and bedtime is almost effortless thanks to the hours spent running barefoot on the beach. Better still, the majority of family-friendly activities are within a short walk or drive and cost very little, or nothing at all!
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.
Well it's hard to believe summer's about had it. After a wet, cool early spring, we've had a long run of typically dry, warm weather. Once this weekend is over, people start arriving to look for real estate. Retirees can enjoy the sunshine over a round or two of golf, beach walks, whatever. Sales usually pick up significantly after the Labour Day weekend. Ferry lineups are gone and visitors can enjoy the area without the family tourists. We do have a very good selection of properties available and sellers who haven't sold will be motivated. It's time to make your move.See you soon!
We had our last full meeting of the Qualicum Beach - Beach Day organizing committee on Monday. Several last minute changes to scheduling. We've added an aerial flyby from some of our local aces! That should add a little extra noise and drama to the event! The day should be awesome. So if you are in the area on the 21st, come to the Beach. Parking along the waterfront won't be allowed but we will have 2 shuttles running from the former school bus parking across from Qualicum Foods and from the Civic Center. It will be a very fun day! See you on the Beach!
Some of you may be interested to know that we have had a family of Great Horned owls in the west side of the Heritage Forest here in Qualicum Beach. We have been seeing 1 adult with 2 chicks. Now the chicks are about 1/2 the size of the rather huge adult. There are always several Barred owls in the eastern portion of the Forest but the Great Horned owls are new, at least in recent times. Seems they have their territories worked out. It's worth noting that the rabbit population in the neighbouring residential area has been thinned out significantly. Hey, biological controls! See you in the Forest.
I am part of a small team of dedicated volunteers putting this event together - for the very first time this year. We shouldn't let Parksville have all the beach fun when we have such a great beach here at Qualicum Beach.
This year it's the 70th anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of Qualicum Beach. What better time to celebrate one of our most valuable assets - our spectacular beach. So for the very first time, let's have a summer beach party!
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. 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. But as the rates are so low, some do borrow for buying real estate then invest their other available equity elsewhere. The weather has warmed up at last and people have come out of hibernation. I am quite busy as of early April. The real estate market is taking off...Call Tom soon or you could be saying....
Here is a link to an interesting article outlining signs of recovery in the US housing market http://www.housingwire.com/article/annual-home-prices-rise-first-time-18-months-remax
It appears as though our real estate market, at least here in the Qualicum Beach and Parksville area, is starting to come out of it's deep winter slumber. Homes are starting to sell as local buyers get in on the best deals.
Lots in the media this past week about the new BC budget. I think it's a good one overall for the housing industry. Certainty is always better than uncertainty. Parts of the world continue to struggle while we here in the West are going pretty strong.
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 B.C. market for next year. For all of B.C., housing sales are forecast to increase 7.4 per cent, according to CMHC. "Modest economic growth at home and abroad is expected to limit growth in consumer demand both this year and in 2013," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "While European sovereign debt concerns and a sluggish US economy will continue to impact consumer confidence, strong demand in the bond market is expected to keep mortgage interest rates at or near record lows for most of 2012," added Muir. Home prices in most BC markets are forecast to experience little change over the next 24 months as the supply of homes for sale more closely matches consumer demand. There seems to be flickering, rays of dawn: the dawn of recovery. There is now better news emerging from south of the border. For instance, a much higher number of new jobs than anticipated, with the unemployment rate the lowest in three years at 8.5 per cent (7.5 per cent nationally in Canada, seven per cent in B.C.) The Canadian economy is not faring badly either. We will likely see more of the same in terms of the pace of the market in the next year or two, but a slight to modest rise in sale prices and volume. I believe that we may look back at the years of 2011/2012 as the "bottom of the market." Let's not forget that the peak of the real estate prices was seen around 2008 - almost four years ago. Indications are that a change, slow but positive, is on the way. For those who are still thinking about buying a property, do not stay on the sidelines too long - the tide of good buys seems about to change! For additional market information, see the Market Statistics link on the home page.
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board summary of stats for October 2011 shows an overall 3% price increase over 2011 for single family homes in the local area. The median price for October sales was $339,000 and listings took 73 days to sell. It is expected that home prices will remain stable through 2012.
Today, the Bank of Canada announced it's plans to hold it's rate at 1%. This morning's statement shows a very cautious Bank of Canada that is unlikely to make any significant movements on interest rates over the next two to three quarters. Expect the Bank of Canada to remain on the sidelines through at least the first half of 2012. This is good news for anyone looking to borrow. On another note, there are buyers still buying. Some sellers have taken their property off the market until spring (February). As a result, those still in the market have a better chance of selling. Prices have come down and are likely to hold steady for the foreseeable future. It's taking somewhat longer to sell but properties are selling especially in the average pricing levels of the $300Ks. The higher priced properties had a flurry of sales activity over the summer months in response to reduced pricing. Expect slower sales to spring (February) and stable prices over the longer term.
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. 55% voted yes, to remove the HST. The issue for government now will be to formulate transitional rules for sales of new homes up to March 31st, 2013 when the HST is scheduled to be gone. Hopefully this will put tradespeople in BC back to work and get consumer-spending moving. The other really good news for home buyers is that mortgage interest rates are not expected to increase any time soon.
Mr and Mrs Buyer are in the driver's seat! Overall sales of homes priced above about $500,000 have been slow this spring. If you are able to come in with cash and not include a subject for the sale of your existing home, you are in a good position to get the home for less money. Cash is King, as they say. We have a good selection of listings to choose from. Pricing has been really good. Vendors are listing for realistic and sharp pricing in order to compete. Albertans have been slow to arrive so far this spring. With the very healthy oil industry, those folks should be able to now sell their homes in Alberta in order to move over here and get out of that hellish winter climate! See you soon!
If you have been waiting to buy real estate locally, you might consider acting soon. Our sales activity has taken off since the better weather finally arrived about mid April. There is considerable interest due to built-up buyer demand, realistic pricing, and lots to choose from. However, inventory is getting eaten up. New listings are still coming on the market though, so don't despair. Just get moving or could find yourself in that 'coulda, woulda, shoulda' category of those who waited too long and got back into the market with rising prices. See you soon !
Local real estate sales are down from a year ago but up over last month. Sales in February 2011 show a 13% decline from February 2010 but a 17% increase over last month. The average price of a single family home is down 3% from February 2010 but up 3.8% from last month. I feel that the cooler than normal weather experienced in February kept some buyers away. With a return to warmer March-April weather we should see the built-up buyer demand being realized with stronger sales locally. Certainly Vancouver and Victoria are hopping. Some sellers from these larger centers will come here to purchase, usually 2-3 months later. See February 2011 Market Statistics for further details.
The 2011 real estate market looks quite promising. Prices have remained stable in our area and new listings are anticipated in the latter part of January. This will provide a terrific selection of properties to choose from. We have built up buyer demand, realized through fewer sales over 2008, 2009 and 2010 as we worked our way through that post-recession period. Our economy appears quite stable in terms of interest rates, unemployment figures, inflation and other such variables. Even south of the border, the US economy seems to have somewhat stabilized. Consumer confidence should be back on track and we do anticipate a strong spring 2011 sales season.
Consumer confidence continues to be shaky, largely due to the continuing slow growth in the U.S. Media reporting suggests home prices are to drop in large centers such as Vancouver and Toronto. This is not directly applicable to our smaller local market. Industry analysts predict a shortage in supply of new homes, as builders have shied away for the time being. Here though, prices came down and have stayed down since mid 2009. Many potential buyers still seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach but for those who can move forward, it is a buyer’s market with affordability, interest rates and selection all in your favour. We are seeing flexibility in offers being accepted as sellers and buyers decide to move forward with the next chapter in their lives.
BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to increase 8 per cent from 74,640 units in 2010 to 80,900 units this year, and increase another 4 per cent to 83,950 units in 2012. “British Columbia housing markets are returning to normalcy after two years of volatility,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Employment and population growth will fuel consumer demand over the next two years. However, higher mortgage interest rates and tighter credit conditions for low equity home buyers will limit home sales to below the ten-year average of 87,600 units.”
Kelowna, BC (February 8, 2011) -- Tighter inventory levels helped to make the last decade one of the healthiest periods on record for Canadian real estate, insulating markets in major centres from the peaks and valleys characteristic of past decades, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.