According to the latest Buyer Profile data collected by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (2013), in this area its just as likely to be someone from right here in Oceanside (18%), elsewhere on Vancouver Island (18%), or Alberta (17%). For all of Vancouver Island, there is a sharper contrast between buyer sources with a total of 51% coming from the same area or elsewhere on the Island and only 11% from Alberta. Oceanside is obviously a favourite destination for those coming here from wild rose country!
When we look further into buyer records, we discover even more interesting facts about where our buyers come from, and what things they favour in a property. For instance, are they planning to stay? Yes, 95% of buyers tell us they are buying their principal residence here, rather than a holiday property. The majority are buying their homes here to retire, although for a full third (37%) this is not their intention for moving to Oceanside and for the Island overall, this trend towards younger immigration has increased from 41 to 47% since 2011 – that’s good for all of us because its a positive influence on our economic growth and wellbeing. In addition, the opportunity for a diverse population to live here increases the value of all our properties.
How are buyers finding their new homes? Our population is increasingly tech-savy and we know most of our clients do a lot of research on line when looking for a home – the statistics reflect that this is the case, but surprisingly NOT necessarily where the final home choice comes from. The number one answer to this question is introduced by a realtor’ 39%; finding their home on an internet site is 36%, seeing a sign is 10%, and ‘through open houses’ is 2%. As I get to know my clients, I’ve frequently discovered options they hadn’t thought of, thought they couldn’t afford, or simply hadn’t considered and they’ve been delighted to have found something that exceeded the expectations they’d shaped from their own searching. A good realtor knows the market and the individual offerings and is able to add significant value in this way, for the benefit of both buyers and sellers. I also believe in the value of open houses – 2% is a lot of buyers – and I’ve achieved many sales for my clients through the consistent use of this marketing strategy.
People have come to expect good value here on the Island and the cost of buying a nice home here is just another reason we remain such a great location! A third of buyers (32%) bought in the range of $250,000 to $350,000, 26% between $350,000 to $450000, 12% between $450,000 to $600,000 and 10% for higher amounts.
Our active retiree population reflects a buying preference for single family homes (57%). Patio homes and condos combined represent 15% of sales, appealing to the ‘downsizing’ category and likely popular for local buyers. The Prairies create a population keen on acreages acreages which represent 8% of sales, and the ever-popular waterfronts are at 6%.
The most popular sized home measured in bedrooms is 3 beds 48%, with the second favorite being 2 beds 35%. Having more than one bathroom remains important;
59% have 2 baths, 23% have 3 baths, and 13% have one. That’s a thought if you’re considering selling and have only one bathroom – an extra bathroom is definitely an advantage.
Although we don’t have snow to contend with, double garages (63% of homes purchased) remain a popular option for staying dry, and possibly because they offer the option of workshop space. Overall, the top three site characteristics are ocean view (42%), view mountain view (27%) and waterfront at 22%.
I’m encouraged by these statistics as they reflect buyer choices that a lot of local sellers are able to offer, and an increasingly diverse population of buyers, with a variety of preferences. They also underline the value I bring to my clients, buyers and sellers alike, which is to bring my market knowledge to bear in offering new arrivals to the Island a wide spectrum of options for their next home.