The Canadian Real Estate Association(CREA) reports “sales activity across the Vancouver Island housing market area continued its gradual upward climb this February, with reports of healthy sales activity across the Board”. This month, I’m including this organization’s summary of Island activity, followed by my regular feature on performance specific to our area (Parksville/Qualicum).
A total of 282 single-family homes sold on the MLS® system in the VIREB coverage area in February 2014. This represents a 24% increase over the 228 sales recorded in February 2013, which is up significantly from last month, which reported 212 unit sales.
VIREB president, Blair Herbert, is encouraged that market activity has been trending upwards for the past few months, and is cautiously optimistic that we will continue to see slow continued growth throughout 2014.
“Over the past few months, we have witnessed strong year-over-year percentage gains in terms of unit sales; however, it is important to note that last year marked a cyclical low in sales activity, so our numbers are not trending as high as they may appear,” he stated. “That being said, when looking at our sales figures over a longer period of time, our activity is close to reaching the ten-year average, so things are definitely moving in the right direction in terms of achieving balanced market conditions.”
In February 2014, the benchmark price for a single-family home in the VIREB coverage area was $310,400, with an MLS® HPI index value of 145.9. (This represents a 45.9 per cent increase since January 2005, when the index was 100). The benchmark price is down 0.9 per cent from last month and increased 1.39 per cent from last year. The average price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $345,164, which is up 10% over this time last year.
“Although pricing has remained relatively flat over the last couple of months, we anticipate that this slow and steady market growth could produce a bit of upward pressure on pricing moving forward,” said Jason Finlayson, VIREB President-Elect. “While we haven’t experienced significant gains thus far, the market is still quite price sensitive, so it is important to contact a local REALTOR® in your area to ensure your property is priced correctly.”
The benchmark price for a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $265,400, up 7.2 per cent over this time last year; in the Comox Valley the benchmark price was $317,700 marking an increase of 1.33 per cent over last year; Duncan reports a benchmark price of $273,200 dipping 2.63 per cent from last year; Nanaimo’s benchmark price was $328,900 up 1.38 per cent over last year; Parksville/Qualicum has a benchmark price of $346,500, rising 2.63 per cent from last year; and the price for a benchmark home in Port Alberni is listed at $193,400, increasing 5.07 per cent from last year.
So how are we faring? February saw 110 single family listings over 89 in our area for this time last year (24% increase), and 43 sales over 37 in 2013 for a 16% increase in sold units. The average sale price was $394,872 or 16% higher than this time a year ago. Days to sell averaged essentially the same at 52 this year and 53 last.
Apartment condo listings were lower at 12 units compared to 15 last year and the average selling price of homes sold in this category (4 in both years) declined 13% from 208,225 to $182,000. Days on market were down 10% year over year.
Listings for patio homes remained much the same at 18, while the average price for units sold (6) went up roughly $20,000 to $269,483.
The graph for lots sold shows a spectacular increase of 300% but this is on a base of only 1 sale last year (4 in 2014). Reported sales dollars in this category totalled $700,000 compared to $250,000 in 2013.
There have been 101 single family homes sold to date this year in our area with Parksville leading the way at 37, followed by Qualicum Beach with 18, French Creek at 15, and Qualicum North and Bowser with 5 each.
Note: Single family does not include acreages with house, condos, duplex/triplex, mobile homes/on pad, single family waterfront or single family strata. Lots do not include acreage or waterfront acreage
I am optimistic about both sales performance and sales prices in 2014. Our market continues to gain strength as we move towards a typical busy spring season. My much-stated ‘big fish in a little pond’ opportunity for listing sooner rather than later, remains sound – we’re seeing more listings daily now, but we’re still not up to the level of choice our buyers demand. The severe recent winters out East are a factor in driving more buyers to seek homes in our lovely environment!