Important information about Comox Valley real estate:
The following information is from end of year 2019 statistics and supports the overall decline in sales numbers as a result of less people selling, therefore less available to purchase. It also reflects a general reduction in activity due to government strategies aimed at cooling the real estate market – from introducing the B-20 stress test for financing, foreign buyer’s tax which is not applicable in this area yet but does have some impact, constant threats of increased interest rates along with other measures.
- This past year in real estate (2019) ended much as it began with more buyers than sellers. It is very different from anything I remember over the life of my 33 year real estate career. We saw less listings, taking less time to sell, more people wanting to buy, multiple offers on many properties and rising prices.
- The average price of single family homes was on the rise in 2018 and that trend continued throughout 2019, beginning at about $541,000 in January and finishing out the year at $580,000. Total number of single family sales were down from just 890 to 850 between 2018 and 2019.
- By far the most active price ranges for homes are between $450,000 and $700,000, accounting for 56% of the total market with $400,000 to $450,000 and $700,000 to $800,000 encompassing another 19.5% of the sales;
- As usual, the majority of all single family sales in our area occur in Comox , but there has been a shift with the City of Courtenay now moving slightly ahead of East Courtenay (which has historically been second to Comox). Sales in Comox, at just over 20% of the total market, amounted to 173 in total for the year , again down a bit from 2018 as reflected in lower sales figures. With infill and new construction in Courtenay City, sales sat at 18.7% with 159 of total area sales and East Courtenay moving down slightly from 2018 at to 17.9% or 152 sales.
- Due to new homes being built and more lots coming on the market in Cumberland, it has picked up 1% of that market change now sitting at just under 9% of the total number of sales with 76 in 2019. Also of interest is that Cumberland prices are now in line with the rest of the municipalities in the Comox Valley as far as sale prices with the majority of them between $450,000 and $700,000 and home sales in Crown Isle are just about identical between 2018 and 2019 at 37 and 36. There is a wide range of sales numbers and prices in all other areas that has, interestingly, increased from the previous year to almost 30% of the local sales market from only 24% in 2018.
- In the rural areas – outside Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland – there was quite a change last year with the number of sales on the Comox Peninsula and Courtenay South tallying considerably more than the previous year and Union Bay/Fanny Bay, Courtenay North and West and Merville/Black Creek recording very similar sales numbers between 2018 and 2019.
- Interesting that in 2018, 72% of what was listed actually sold and in 2019 that decreased to 66% which is similar to the 2016 market and still better than some previous years, but is showing signs of returning to a buyers’ market. At this moment it does remain to be a sellers’ market, probably because of the low inventory, and accurate pricing is extremely important.
- As always, buyers are very particular about what they will buy and what they are prepared to pay for it and it often takes sellers awhile to mentally, or maybe emotionally, catch up with what is occurring around them.
- The condominium market remains strong with the most listings being apartment-style, but the best prices realized are for patio homes. Of note is that there were less patio home sales in 2019 compared to 2018 and less sales of apartment style condos too, along with increased prices. This could be because there have not been many of either of this type of condominiums being built though one project alone sparked a large number of the apartment sales. Townhouse sales have seen a big decrease in both number of listings and sales and sale prices have not changed much. They continue to be very affordable while providing good living space in comparison to single family home price, age and size.
- The lot market has been picking up with some subdivision taking place in Courtenay, Cumberland and Crown Isle primarily. While there were 78 active listings, up from 59 in 2018, there were only 37 sales over the past year with the median and average prices the same at about $350,000 while those sales took a lot more time. The lack of affordable development property is a factor and has obviously pushed some lot prices above what most buyers are prepared to pay;
- To summarize, the most active price ranges up to the end of December are now $450,000 to $700,000. There were a significant number of people, 483 or almost 57% of total sales, who sold their homes between $450,000 and $700,000 and 192 sales over $700,000. That includes the most ever sales over $1M at 41!
With historically low interest rates still anticipated to be around for awhile and prices relative to other locations still extremely reasonable, it remains to be a good time for buyers to take advantage and invest in real estate in 2020, after all, you have to live somewhere. Why pay the landlord when you can invest in yourself? Also, buyers who have been waiting for prices to drop could simply remain out of the market for longer since it doesn’t seem likely that will happen.
Sellers in some price ranges still have to be patient, but with the number of active listings declining it looks like it could continue to be a sellers’ market. It is always important for people with their property on the market to do what they can to make it stand out from the masses, which includes being price conscious.
If you are considering selling or buying a home/investment in 2020, wondering about the current market or just wanting to talk to me about your real estate, I’d love to hear from you! I will provide you with professionalism, integrity, honest, accurate information, local market expertise and keep you current which are all valuable insights that I can offer as your real estate agent.
If you’re looking to buy real estate in the Comox Valley or you want to list your home for sale. Contact Janice Leffler today!