February 1, 2018
Calendar 2017 finished off as one of the hottest real estate markets in the Cowichan Valley in decades. The year wrapped up with 963 single family sales in the Cowichan Valley. The number of sales was down 7% from the 1,030 in 2016, but that's only because of the lack of available homes on the market.
The real story was that the average sale price for the year rose 17% to $ 454,533 from $389,867 in 2016. The benchmark sale price for single family homes finished at $450,900, gaining 19% from the start of the year. Because our market is relatively small, it’s hard for averages and benchmarks to be totally accurate, but depending on product and area I would say prices rose anywhere from 16-20%, so the averages and benchmarks appear to give a fairly accurate picture of the activity in the Valley. Another number that speaks to the “seller’s market” last year is that on average, single family homes sold for 99% of list price; that’s the highest number I have ever seen in my career.
And now, the first month of 2018 is done. Surprisingly, the wet winter weather and lack of inventory didn't have a cooling effect on the market. We had 48 sales last month, which was 17% higher than in January of 2017. The annual rolling sales numbers were 970 sales in our Valley in the past 12 months representing a 7% decrease compared to the 12 months ending in January of last year. Price-wise, in the past 12 months the average single family home in the Cowichan Valley sold for $ 456,155, up 16% from $392,196 in the previous 12 months.
I’m sure that the number of sales in January of this year would have been even higher if there had been more homes on the market. On January 31st of last year, there were 131 homes for sale in the Valley. Yesterday, that number was at just 107. (And for further perspective, at the end of January 2009 that number was 431.)
What does this all of this mean to you? If you’ve been sitting on the fence on whether to sell your home, it’s time to stop thinking, and take advantage of a seller’s market which has the potential to level out as we are very likely to see rising inventory in the coming months. The Canadian and foreign governments have made strong moves to slow things down with bold changes that we have never seen before, including aggressive new qualification rules for conventional mortgages, higher interest rates, tighter regulations to take monies out of China, and above all affordability. Continuing strong immigration to BC and the rest of Canada, record low employment, booming construction and massive infrastructure projects continue to fire the economy. At this point, the fundamentals still point to a seller’s market; low supply, low mortgage rates, and a lot of pent-up demand.
Again, if you’re thinking of selling this year, now is the time – before the market fills up with new spring inventory. People often ask me: “When is the best time of year to sell?” The answer is very simple; it’s when the supply is low. And that means NOW.
BC Home Sales Above 100,000 for Third Consecutive Year
Vancouver, BC – January 12, 2018. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 103,763 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province in 2017, a decline of 7.5 per cent from a record 112,211 unit sales in 2016. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $709,579 in 2017, up 2.7 per cent from the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was $73.63 billion, down 5.1 per cent from 2016.
"Robust housing demand in 2017 was underpinned by a strong economy, employment growth and rising wages," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "Above trend migration, both international and interprovincial, also bolstered housing demand, while broader demographic fundamentals added fuel to condominium sales in urban centres and to all home types in retirement-oriented communities."
The BC housing market ended the year with a strong December. Home sales increased 4 per cent from November, on a seasonally adjusted basis. However, the year-end results were likely pushed higher by some homebuyers advancing their purchases to avoid tougher mortgage qualification rules in the new year.
In December, a total of 5,738 residential unit sales were recorded by the MLS® across the province, an increase of 21.5 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $4.2 billion, up 36.3 per cent from December 2016. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $734,108, up 12.1 per cent from the same month last year.
Here is a link to this month’s Graph Stats for the Cowichan Valley, courtesy of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board: Cowichan Valley Graph Stats.
I hope you find this current market information informative. If you have any questions about the market please feel free to contact me anytime.
Thinking of selling? Please feel free to contact me for advice on preparing your home for the market. What money should you spend if any? When is the best time to list? I am happy to consult with you anytime even if you are not planning on selling for some time.
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