April 1, 2020
As I write this update to my friends, family and clients in these trying times, I hope you are safe, have your chin up and know that this will pass as long as we all work together. We are so fortunate to live in the Cowichan Valley and have been able to enjoy some spectacular spring weather over the last month. I don’t know about you but we are sure making the best of the situation by going outside walking, relaxing on the patio, and finishing that spring cleaning.
In light of all that is happening currently, I also want you to know that precautions and procedures have been implemented to protect the health of our clients, staff and the public. Of course, these steps and the limitations imposed are evolving as new information becomes available.
With Real Estate deemed as an essential service, I have been and will continue to conduct business remotely until it is safe to continue my business in person. Utilizing digital technology for signing, working remotely from home, using phone, text, e-mail, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Facetime and more to eliminate the need for in-person meetings. At this time, I am advising new clients that now is not the ideal time to be placing your home up for sale unless the property is vacant, you have to sell or there are special circumstances. I am concentrating my efforts on my existing listings and completing the sales that were entered in prior to the current situation. In the meantime, I am happy to offer my services remotely to help clients with Real Estate advice and prepare your home for sale so that when the time is right we can market your property to is highest potential.
I have been ahead of the game for a few years now by marketing my listings with Matterport 3D walk through showcase technology, interactive floor plans, professional photography, video and more making it very easy for buyers to walk through my listings without stepping in the door. I had already been selling a few properties a year prior to buyers viewing the homes with this exceptional technology. To see an example of one of my listings click here. http://www.kenneal.com/property-details/6032/kaspa-road/100067
These tools will now play an even larger role than ever in selling our properties as we move forward.
There are many great sources for information out there right now that most are watching closely. For Real Estate specific questions, the Real Estate Council of BC has put together answers for commonly asked questions which can be found here.https://www.recbc.ca/public-protection/covid-19-and-real-estate-services
On a brighter note, once the spread of the virus has stabilized, there should be a recovery to what we're seeing in terms of growth and activity both in the economy and in the Real Estate market. After that period of stabilization, with the addition of the drastically reduced prime rate by 1.25% we may even see greater demand as people feel a sense of security in Real Estate versus the stock markets.
In the meantime, if you have the means to, please do everything you can to support your local businesses during these times as they are struggling now and will be for some time. Additionally, a lot of charity related events have been canceled. If you would like to help out struggling charities or contribute to COVID-19 research at this time, more information can be found here. https://www.canadahelps.org/en/donate-to-coronavirus-outbreak-response/
Below is our monthly statistics, please kept in mind the market has obviously slowed down dramatically mid-month and we still had only two less single-family home sales compared to last year. Prior to that, after the slow start to the year due to the snow and rain the market was going very well for sellers with a lot of motivated and ready to go buyers. My last two listings sold for full price on their first day on the market.
Let’s hope that in the not too distant future we are talking about what happened and life can get back to normal.
Be safe, cheers.
Last month there were a total of 51 single-family homes sold in the Cowichan Valley, down 4% from the 53 that sold in March of last year, and just above the 50 that sold in February. We are now trending below the 10-year average of 61.9 sales in March.
There were still only 177 active single-family home listings on the market at the end of last month, compared to 148 at the end March 2019, that’s a 19% 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 financial crisis of 2008. The 10-year average for homes on the market at the end of March in the valley is 307, so as you can see, we still have record low inventory. There is no question the white and wet cold weather contributed to keeping the inventory low at the beginning of this year, but it is rising now.
Average prices for single-family residential homes for the 12 months ending in March were at $543,279, up 7% from $509,453 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 $461,100 in February 2019 to $479,300 in February 2020; that’s a 3.9% gain.
Condominium apartment sales were down in March with 5 sales compared to the 12 sales in February and also in comparison to the 8 that sold last March.
Condominium apartments in the valley saw the average prices for the 12 months ending in March way up to $249,898; that's up 15% compared to last March. The benchmark price at the end of February was also up to $240,400, a 15% gain over last year.
The inventory of apartments on the market is rising with 27 on the market at the end of March compared to the 19 on the market at the end of last March.
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.
I would love to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Like me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kennealduncan.