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Cowichan Valley Realtor

Market Information

June 1, 2020

British Colombia and respect for one another in this province is the talk of the world. We all pulled together, made sacrifices for our loved ones, and successfully flattened the curve. We all worked together to find new ways to make the best out of a serious situation. A huge thank you to everyone doing their part, but please let's keep up the great work.

Real Estate was deemed an essential service, but it is not business as normal; we have adapted and put in place strong safety measures to protect you and your loved ones, we have found ways through precautions and protocols to make it work, and the listings and sales are returning, people are increasingly feeling safe and they are venturing back out. Welcome to the new normal.

While Cowichan Valley listings and sales were down substantially from March-May this year I am pleased to say I have listed and sold more of my listings than the first 5 months of 2019. I have always said the harder and smarter you work, the luckier you are, but luck just doesn’t happen.

At this point, there is pent up demand from buyers who want to buy, while there is also a shortage of listings, so prices seem to be holding to rising. Like everyone, I wish I had a crystal ball on what the future will hold for us. The economy is not natural anymore; it’s all about government policy and how those policies will affect the markets. Although we might have uncertainty in the market in the coming months I believe in the long run more and more Canadians will be choosing Vancouver Island and the Cowichan Valley as a stunning safe place to call home.

The Cowichan Valley Real Estate market was much stronger in May than in April but slowed down in comparison to the same months in both 2018 and 2019

There were 60 single-family-home sales in the Cowichan Valley last month, substantially up in comparison to the 35 sold in April. That number is only slightly down, 5%, from the 63 sales recorded in May of last year, but substantially down from the record-breaking 137 sales in May of 2016. Overall sales numbers are also down from the 10-year average of 84 sales in May. In the past 12 months, we’ve seen 661 total sales, compared to 722 in the 12-month period before that.

The average single-family home in the Cowichan Valley sold for $575,621 last month in comparison to $549,439 in the same month last year; that’s a 5% increase. Another more accurate indicator of what prices have done over the last year comes from figures in the MLS Home Price Index which is a benchmark for Realtors in a group of home sales. That gauge shows single-family homes in the Cowichan Valley going from $479,300 in April 2019 to $482,800 in April of this year; that’s a marginal .73% gain.

At this time, the overall supply continues to be very low on the seller's side in the Cowichan Valley, with only 190 active listings on the market at the end of May. Note that in 2013 that number was 575 and in 2017 it was as low as 151. Last year at the end of May there were 239 single-family homes on the market. The ten-year average for homes on the market at the start of May is 372.

The homes that sold last month had been on the market for an average of just 36 days, compared to 29 days in May of last year. Note that in 2010 that number was as high as 65.

Condominium apartment sales were also down in May with 5 sales compared to the 9 that sold last May, but on par with the 5 sales in April 2020.

Condominium apartments in the valley saw the average prices in May jump to $354,100; that's up 33% compared to last May. The benchmark price at the end of March was up to $234,500, a 4.3% gain over last year.

The inventory of apartments on the market is rising with 29 on the market at the end of May compared to the 26 on the market at the end of last May.

I wish you all the best over the summer months and that you enjoy it to the fullest with your family and friends. Remember, you only have so many summers in a lifetime.

Provincial Update

Housing Market Slows, but Resilient in Response to Pandemic

Vancouver, BC – May 13, 2020. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 3,284 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April 2020, a decline of 50.8 per cent from April 2019. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $737,834, a 7.8 per cent increase from $684,430 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume in March was $2.4 billion, a 46.9 per cent decrease over 2019.

"We expected to see a sharp drop in sales for April as we confronted the COVID-19 pandemic,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “However, buyers and sellers are adapting to a new normal, and activity should pick up as the economy gradually re-opens.”
While home sales were down by more than half compared to this time last year, the supply of homes for sale, which normally rises through the spring, was down close to 10 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis and down 23.7 per cent year-over-year. That slide in total active listings means that prices remained firm despite the sharp fall in sales.
Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 9.6 per cent to $15.3 billion, compared with the same period in 2019. Residential unit sales were down 1.7 per cent to 20,164 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 11.6 per cent to $758,614. 

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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