April 1, 2019
Well, that was one cold winter, but the snow is gone, spring is finally here, and the warm weather we have all been waiting for has arrived.
Unlike the warming temperatures, the sales volume in the Cowichan Valley continues to cool down following the rest of the province trend.
Last month there were a total of 53 single-family homes sold in the Cowichan Valley, down 36% from the 83 that sold in March of last year, but well above the 35 that sold in February. We are now trending below the 10-year average of 64 sales in March.
There were still only 148 active single-family home listings on the market at the end of last month, compared to 131 at the end March 2018, that is a 12.9% increase over last year. For further context, consider that there were 501 homes on the market at the end of March of 2009; that was after the market peaked in the financial crisis of 2008. The 10-year average for homes on the market at the end of March in the valley is 383, so as you can see we still have record low inventory. There is no question the cold and white weather contributed to keeping the inventory low this year. Now that the warm weather is here, people will be getting their houses ready to sell and I expect to see the inventory rise in the coming weeks.
Prices on average of single-family residential sale prices for the 12 months ending in March were at $510,283, up 8% from $470,666 one year ago. 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 $433,000 in February 2018 to $463,100 in February 2019; that’s a 6.95% gain.
What does this all of this mean to you? If you’ve been sitting on the fence and considering listing your home but you’re worried about the market conditions, it’s time to stop worrying. This is a great time to take advantage of a seller’s market before the spring flowers bloom and the potential looming effects of higher interest rates and tighter mortgage qualifications start raising the supply of homes. It is also a good time to list before the valley joins the trend of slowing markets that we’re seeing in other parts of the country. We have a low supply, low mortgage rates, many buyers, and a lot of pent-up demand. Give me a call today.
Mortgage Stress Test Continues to Dampen Home Sales in February
Vancouver, BC – March 13, 2019. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 4,533 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February, a decline of 27 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $678,625, a decline of 9.3 per cent from February 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $3.08 billion, a 33.8 per cent decline from the same month last year.
“Prospective homebuyers continue to be sidelined by the mortgage stress test,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Deputy Chief Economist. “As a consequence, and despite a strong BC labour market, sales remained slow in February.”
Total MLS® residential active listings increased 36.5 per cent to 30,891 units compared to the same month last year. The ratio of sales to active residential listings declined from 27.4 per cent to 14.7 per cent over the same period.
“Falling mortgage rates should provide some relief for homebuyers, providing a small boost to affordability heading into the spring,” added Ogmundson.
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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