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Cowichan Valley Realtor

Market Information

December 1, 2019

The Cowichan Valley’s active inventory of single-family homes on the market still remains remarkably low with only 166 active single-family homes on the market according to the Cowichan Valley’s MLS at the end of November. That is up 12 listings from last November but, considering the listing inventory in November 2012 was as high as 443 and the 10-year average is 281, it is still very low.

The slowdown in the forestry industry certainly seems to be contributing to a slowdown in single-family home sales in the valley with only 41 sales in November compared to 66 in October and from the 64 that sold in the same month last year. In the past 12 months, there has been 678 sales in the valley, in comparison to 868 in the year before that; a decrease of approximately 22%.

The 12-month average sale price in the valley rose 6% to $535,996 at the end of November. The benchmark sale price in the Cowichan Valley, a more accurate look at what single-family home prices have done was up 2.7% from October 2018 to October 2019. Another important statistic to note is that last month it took sellers an average of 42 days to sell homes, in comparison to 38 days last November.

Overall, the Cowichan Valley is still trending in a sellers-market with a 4-month supply of homes on the market. A balanced market is considered to have approximately a four-five-month supply of homes. The lower price ranges (under $600,000) continue to be very undersupplied, while upper price ranges are seeing more homes for buyers to choose from and even a buyers-market for various sectors of the higher end market.

In terms of sales numbers, the MLS systems 12 months list-to-sell ratio was at 60% for single-family homes in the Cowichan Valley. That means for every 100 homes listed in the past 12 months, 60 sold. This number, over the last ten years, at the end of November, has ranged from a low of only 44% in 2010 to a high of 123% in 2018. It is worth noting that in November of 2008, that number was as low as 26%.

With the Cowichan Valley’s Real Estate market slowly working its way closer to balanced conditions for sellers and buyers, 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, which is before everyone puts their homes on the market in the spring and the inventory rises.

On a personal note, I’ve been back in Real Estate for six years now, and I pride myself for 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 keeping my inventory of listed single-family homes at five or under at all times. In fact, this year the most homes I’ve had listed at any one time was four. This has allowed me to focus a lot more of my time on my listings to get them sold, as well as giving me a well-balanced personal life.

From my family to yours, we wish you all the best over the holidays. Words cannot say how grateful I am for all of the support from my incredible clients, friends, and family. My health is great, and my daughters are thriving. 2019 has been a great, well-balanced work and play year; I really couldn’t ask for anything more. I am so thankful.

Kari and I wish you and your family all the best in 2020.


Provincial update

Home Sales Continue Normalization Trend in October

Vancouver, BC – November 13, 2019. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,666 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October, an increase of 19.3 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $724,045, an increase of 5.1 per cent from October 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $5.55 billion, a 25.4 per cent increase from the same month last year.

“Most markets around the province are returning to a more typical level of sales activity,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “That recovery in sales and slower listings activity is putting upward pressure on prices in many markets.”

MLS® residential active listings in the province were up 1 per cent from September 2018 to 36,567 units, although down slightly when compared on a seasonally adjusted basis. With sales and listings down, overall market conditions in the province have tightened, with a sales-to-active listings ratio of 21 per cent.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 9 per cent to $45.3 billion, compared with the same period in 2018. Residential unit sales were 6.2 per cent lower at 65,468 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 3 per cent year-to-date at $691,618.

BCREA 2019 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast

Vancouver, BC – November 6, 2019. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2019 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to decline 1.8 per cent to about 77,100 units this year, after recording 78,505 residential sales in 2018. MLS® residential sales are forecast to increase 10.9 per cent to 85,500 units in 2020, just below the 10-year average for MLS® residential sales of 85,800 units.

“After a slow start to 2019, MLS® home sales in BC have embarked on a sustained upward trend since the spring,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Chief Economist. “The dampening effects of federal mortgage rules mean that rather than a return to the heights of recent years, home sales are simply returning to trend after sustaining a significant shock.”

As demand normalizes, the accumulation of resale inventory has reversed course in many markets around BC. We anticipate that this trend will continue in 2020, with sales and listings finding balance. For most markets, this will mean price growth that is in-line with inflation, though for some supply-constrained areas we are forecasting strong price growth. We anticipate that the MLS® average price will decline 2 per cent in 2019 before rising modestly by 3.6 per cent to $723,000 in 2020.

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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