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Cowichan Valley Realtor

Market Information

October1, 2020

Traditionally, September is a slower month for single-family home sales, but this year during our unpredictable year, that certainly wasn't the case. 113 single-family homes sold in the Cowichan Valley in September, up from the 90 sales we saw in August and substantially up from the 53 sales we saw in September of last year.

Over the past 12 months, we’ve have had 758 total sales, compared with 724 in the 12-month period before that; that's up 4.7%.

The average sale price for single-family homes in the valley last month was just over $605,000; that’s a 16.4% year-over-year increase. Another tool, the benchmark price from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s Home Price Index, shows that from September 2019 to September 2020, sale prices in the Cowichan Valley were up only 1.4%. Very strange how these two numbers could be so different as prices are certainly up way more than 1.4%.

There were still only 137 single-family homes on the market in the Cowichan Valley yesterday. This remarkably low inventory is continuing to put strong upward pressure on prices.

Condominium apartment sales were up in September with 9 sales in comparison to the 8 that sold last September but down significantly from the 15 sales in August 2020.

Condominium apartments in the valley saw the average price for September down to $228,778; that's down 10.79% in comparison to last September. The Home Price Index benchmark price also shows prices down 5% over last September. I would say lower-priced condos sold this September as prices certainly are not down.

When the pandemic hit home back in March and the world shut down as we knew it there was so much uncertainty around the Real Estate market as well as all aspects of our lives. During the first 6 weeks Real Estate was like everything else, virtually non-existent. As we learned to adapt with safe measures our industry recovered and with the help of CERB, record low-interest rates, mortgage deferrals, and help for businesses our industry made up for the lost time and turned into one of the hottest markets I have ever worked in my 30-year career.

Where will it go from here? What will the governments next move be with the COVID numbers rising, the CERB coming to an end, mortgage payments that were deferred coming due soon as well as other programs set to expire. I sure wish I could tell you; it’s up to what the government’s next moves will be given the challenges that are in front of us.

One thing that looks for sure is that interest rates are staying low for the foreseeable future.

To Read the latest BCREA mortgage rate forecast click here: https://bcrea.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/mortgagerateforecast.pdf

A couple of things I can tell you is at this point it is still a fantastic time to sell your property and we live in one of the most sought-after places to live and be safe in the world. We are truly on the world’s radar now and I encourage you to get your kids into the market as soon as they are able.

I hope you have a great summer. Ours was sure made brighter with a precious healthy baby girl, Blake Kingsley Frueh. Our first grandchild came into this world with perfect timing on August 3, 2020. Congratulations Andrew and Michelle, Kari and I are so excited for you and our family.

Provincial Update

BC Housing Markets Heat Up as Summer Ends

Vancouver, BC – September 14, 2020. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 10,172 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August 2020, an increase of 42.8 per cent from August 2019. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $771,309, a 12.7 per cent increase from $684,093 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume in August was $7.8 billion, a 61.1 per cent increase over 2019.


“Very strong provincial home sales continued in August,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “While pent-up demand from the spring is driving much of the increase, we anticipate a sustained strong level of sales through the fall.”


Total provincial active listings are still down more than 10 per cent year-over-year, with some markets even more under-supplied as the pandemic continues to keep listings low. As a result, prices are sharply rising around the province.


Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 15.8 per cent to $40.4 billion, compared with the same period in 2019. Residential unit sales were up 4.9 per cent to 53,336 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 10.4 per cent to $757,504.

The Unusual World of Pandemic Economics” – Why BC’s Housing Market Remains Strong Despite COVID-19

Vancouver, BC – Septemeber 9, 2020. The British Columbia Real Estate Association’s (BCREA) latest Market Intelligence report, The Unusual World of Pandemic Economics, points to uneven job losses across sectors, an increase in many households’ rate of savings, swift government aid, a tighter-than-ever housing supply and low interest rates as the drivers behind BC’s recent housing market highs.


“The COVID-19 recession has battered many sectors of the BC economy. However, looking at recent data in the housing market, it would be difficult to tell there was a recession at all,” says BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “In a typical recession, we would see falling demand and rising supply, but this recession is anything but typical.”


Previous BCREA forecasts anticipated housing prices would return to the pre-COVID-19 baseline in early 2021. However, a surge of pent-up demand into an undersupplied market has prices at pre-COVID-19 levels well ahead of schedule.


“Pandemic economics are proving to be very unusual. Many of the trends we are seeing are without precedent and significant uncertainty remains, but we are cautiously optimistic that this housing recovery will continue,” notes Ogmundson.

To read the full report, click here: https://www.bcrea.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/The-Unusual-World-of-Pandemic-Economics.pdf

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 ken@kenneal.com or Like me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kennealduncan.