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Cowichan Valley Realtor

Market Information

July 1, 2018

Happy Canada Day, Eh! 

The effects of government changes to mortgage qualifications rules, new taxes, and higher interest rates are all starting to show up in some of the larger urban markets across the country. In May, the Victoria Real Estate Board saw its total inventory of properties rise by 19.6% year over year while at the same time, sales fell by 25%. 

That is a clear sign of a changing market. Real estate prices, time on the market, and the percentage of listed homes which actually sell are all completely determined by supply and demand.  Low supply equates to rising prices; high supply means falling prices.  A 5 to 6 month supply of active listings constitutes a nice balanced market for buyers and sellers.  As of yesterday, the Cowichan Valley had 222 homes on the market.  That was substantially higher than the 184 homes that were for sale at the end of last June, but it is still a relatively low 2.6 month supply.  This means that in the Cowichan Valley, we are still living with an overall sellers’ market.    .

The lower end market is still strong in Victoria, and as our prices are substantially lower than Victoria, we haven't seen as dramatic an overall change yet.  But change is definitely coming. 

There were 85 single family home sales in the Valley in June. That was down slightly from the 87 sales recorded in June of last year.  In the past 12 months, we’ve seen 946 total sales, compared with 914 in the 12 month period before that. The average selling price continues to go up. Last month, the average single family home in the Cowichan Valley sold for $490,000 compared to $ 414,872 in the same month last year, a strong 18% increase.

Another indicator of what prices have done over the last year comes from figures in the MLS Home Price Index; that’s a benchmark for Realtors of a group of home sales. That gauge shows single family homes in the Cowichan Valley going from $404,000 in May 2017 to $ 481,000 in May of this year. That’s a 19% gain.

Things are always changing – so is my marketing 

Where do you want your Realtor to spend your advertising dollars? When I started in this business 28 years ago, a simple ad in the Times Colonist would generate a ton of interest in a property. By the end of 2017 that same ad would give you just a .6% chance of selling your property, and the Real Estate tabloid in the local weekly paper was down to a 1.2% chance of selling your property. 

So why do Realtors spend so much money advertising in these tabloids?  Simply put, it’s so you see their face. But by the end of 2017, more than 63.8 % of buyers first found a property on the Internet. The web, combined with “For Sale” signs, word of mouth, and actually contacting a Real Estate Office or an agent accounted for 95.4% of how buyers find and buy Real Estate today. (Source: 2017 VIREB Buyer Profile Cowichan Valley.)

So do you want your Realtor spend your hard-earned money on what used to sell properties, or on what sells Real Estate in 2018?  Check out, my responsive web site that performs exceptionally well on all devices. See how I expose my listings with full screen HD picture tours, interactive video, interactive floor plans, 3-D home tours, and maps to get you to the location.  The world is instant now and full market exposure means complete, detailed property information loaded to multiple web sites within minutes of listing; websites including, Used Cowichan,, Private Client Services, social media sites such as Facebook, and much more. 

My commitment is to spend money on what works, and my exceptional results and track record show that indeed, I’m doing it right. 

Provincial update
Mortgage Policy Changes Hit Affordability Hard
Vancouver, BC – June 15, 2018. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 8,837 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province in May, a 28.7 per cent decrease from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $739,783, down 1.7 per cent from May 2017. Total sales dollar volume was $6.54 billion, a 30 per cent decline from May 2017.
“BC home sales continued to slow in May because of more stringent qualifications for conventional borrowers,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The changes in mortgage policy are taking their toll on housing demand, not only in British Columbia, but across the country by reducing household purchasing power and housing affordability.”
While the decline in consumer demand has lifted the inventory of homes for sale, total active residential listings in the province are still relatively low by historical comparison.
Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 13.8 per cent to $26.4 billion, compared with the same period in 2017. Residential unit sales decreased 16.6 per cent to 35,976 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 3.4 per cent to $733,616

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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