Interesting things to know about Comox Valley real estate:
The following information is from end of year 2018 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 (2018) ended much as it began with more buyers than sellers. It is very different from anything I remember over the life of my 31 year real estate career. We saw less listings, taking less time to sell, more people wanting to buy, multiple offers on just about everything and rising prices.
- The average price of single family homes was on the rise in 2017 and that trend continued throughout 2018, beginning at about $491,000 in January and finishing out the year at just below $540,000. Total number of sales were down considerably from 1040 to just 890 between 2017 and 2018.
- By far the most active price ranges for homes are between $450,000 and $600,000, accounting for 43% of the total market with $400,000 to $450,000 and $600,000 to $700,000 encompassing another 26% 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 24% of the total market, amounted to 213 in total for the year. With infill and new construction in Courtenay City, sales have increased a full 2% (19.2%) over the previous year with 171 of total area sales and East Courtenay moving down to 18.2% or 162 sales, a reduction of 1% from 2017.
- Due to new homes being built and more lots coming on the market in Cumberland, it has picked up 2% of that market change now sitting at 10% of the total number of sales with 92 in 2018. 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 $400,000 and $700,000 and home sales in Crown Isle have declined from 53 to just 37 last year. There is a wide range of sales numbers and prices in all other areas that makes up 24% of the local sales market.
- In the rural areas – outside Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland – there was quite a change last year with the number of sales on the ComoxPeninsula, Courtenay North and Union Bay/Fanny Bay down considerably from 2017. Courtenay South and West and Merville/Black Creek also recorded fewer sales in 2018.
- Interesting that in 2017, 78% of what was listed actually sold and in 2018 that decreased to 72% which is still better than it has been in the past. At this moment it remains a sellers’ market and accurate pricing is still 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 about the same number of patio home sales in 2017 and 2018 and far more sales of apartment style condos though those sales are down a bit too. Townhouse sales have seen a big increase in both number of listings and sales and sale prices have risen 15%. New construction is still part of the story with townhouses and average prices are up there as well. They continue to be very affordable while providing good living space in comparison to single family home price, age and size.
- The lot market remains slow due to little supply and not much subdivision taking place. While there were 59 active listings, down from 68 in 2017, there were only 32 sales over the past year with the median and average prices close to the same at about $245,000 while those sales took a lot less 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 $400,000 to $700,000. There were a significant number of people, 619 or almost 70% of total sales, who sold their homes between $400,000 and $700,000, but just 140 sales over $700,000. That includes the most ever sales over $1M at 35!
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 2019, after all, you have to live somewhere. Why pay the landlord when you can invest in yourself? Sellers in some price ranges still have to be patient, but with the number of active listings declining it looks like it will 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 2019, 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, 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!