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Cowichan Valley Realtor

Market Information

May 1, 2017

Well I am sure glad that winter is over; at least it’s supposed to be. If you’re like me, spring is your favorite time of the year, with everything blooming and coming alive. Let’s hope the sun starts making a regular appearance this month. 

Cowichan Valley single family home sales continued to be strong with 83 homes sold last month, compared to the record 118 in April of 2016.  That’s a 30% decrease, but still well above the 58 that sold in 2015 or the 51 that sold in 2014.   

Here’s some other numbers to show what’s been happening.  In April of last year, sellers were getting  - on average - 97 % of their asking price for single family homes.  Last month, that number jumped to 98%. (In April of 2009 that number was just 93%.)  If you know me, you know that I love negotiating and getting every dollar I can for my sellers.  And so far this year, I have averaged just over 100 % of list price for my sellers. Multiple offers on properties have become a normal thing in the marketplace,  If a listing comes on that is a good product and priced properly, you can expect buyers will be competing for it. 

The real story is that there were just 111 active single family home listings on the market in the Valley at the end of April, compared to 179 in April of 2016.  In April of 2009,. after the financial crisis, that number was a staggering 520.  

Here’s an easy way to put this into perspective: let’s say you own a grocery store in a small town and all the other stores have closed down.  Now, there is a limited supply of groceries.  What do you think is going to happen to the prices? 

The average time it took to sell a house last month was 33 days.  That’s compared to 41 days in April of last year.  

The average sale price year to date for single family homes in the Valley was $399,298 compared to $377,088 at the end of last April. That is a 7% increase, but in my opinion the price increase was realistically closer to 10%. But even with continuing very low inventory and very strong sales volume, house prices in the Valley have a long way to go to catch up to what is happening elsewhere. The reality is that we’re only 13% above March of 2008 pricing according to the Home Price Index for the Cowichan Valley; that certainly can’t be said of the markets in Victoria or Vancouver.  

All of which means that this is still a great time for first-time buyers to get into the market.  Interest rates remain low, and our prices are still very affordable compared to many other places in the province.


Provincial update  

Housing Demand Normalizes as Supply Dwindles
Vancouver, BC – April 13, 2017. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 9,826 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, down 21.8 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $6.79 billion, down 30 per cent from March 2016. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $690,597, a 10.5 per cent decrease from the same period last year.
“Consumer demand continues to normalize following blockbuster home sales in 2016," says Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Economist. "However, the supply of homes available for sale has not recovered and is still declining in many markets around the province."
Although the average price in BC was down year-over-year due to a shift in the composition of sales away from higher-priced homes in Greater Vancouver, home prices in most markets are being pushed higher due to severe supply constraints. This is particularly true for the Victoria region, which currently has just over one month of inventory for sale, as well as for the apartment and townhouse market in the Lower Mainland.
Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 34.7 per cent to $14.1 billion, when compared with the same period in 2016. Residential unit sales declined 25.5 per cent to 20,893 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 12.4 per cent to $674,856.

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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