December 1, 2017
Even with the arrival of all this rain, more winter-like temperatures, new federal qualification rules for conventional mortgages coming, and rising interest rates, the real estate market in the Cowichan Valley is still not showing any signs of cooling down. That’s different from Victoria, where sales volumes registered by the Victoria Real Estate Board have shown a substantial slowdown.
In my opinion we will start to see sales volume and listing inventories returning to normal levels in the New Year. Cowichan Valley market activity has always lagged behind the statistics for Victoria and Vancouver, whether the market is going up or down.
There were still only 168 active single family home listings on the market at the end of November, compared to 161 on November 30th of 2016. This is the first month in a long time I have seen the active listings higher than the year before.
Actual sales of single family homes in the Valley were up slightly in November to 77, compared to 72 sales in October, and up substantially from the 47 that sold in the same month last year. In the past 12 months, we’ve had 950 sales in the Valley, compared to 1,033 in the year before that; that’s a decrease of about 8%. But the real story is that the average sale price in the last year has risen dramatically; the increase has been about 16%, to just over $451,000.
On a personal note, I’ve been back in real estate for 4 years now, and I pride myself on running a smaller, more efficient business model with high quality marketing and service levels that consistently exceed expectations. One of the ways I’ve done this is to keep my inventory of listed single family homes at 10 or under at all times; in fact, this year the most homes listed I had at any one time was 4. With this client-focussed strategy, I will still manage to sell over 40 homes this year. This has helped me focus a lot more time on my listings to get them sold, as well as giving me a well-balanced personal life. Right now, I’m almost sold out again, so your referrals would be greatly appreciated in the New Year.
In terms of sales numbers, the MLS system has had a record 12 months with the list-to-sell ratio at 79%. That means for every 100 homes listed in the past 12 months, 79 sold. It’s worth noting that in November of 2008, that number was 26%. In my case, I am at a 95.2% ratio for the last 12 months; I would be 100% but I took a new listing this week.
If you are thinking of selling, I encourage you to list in the early part of the year. The perception is that spring is the best time to sell, but the reality is that the best time to list is when supply is low. And that’s before everyone puts their stuff on the market in the spring.
From my family to yours we wish you all the best over the holidays. Words cannot say how grateful I am for all the support from my incredible clients, friends, and family. My health is great, my daughters are thriving, Michelle and Andy got engaged and Kari and I are looking forward to celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary in the New Year. 2017 was a great, well-balanced work and play year; I really couldn’t ask for anything more. I’m so thankful.
Kari and I wish you and your family all the best in 2018.
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.