There were some highs and lows last month when it came to real estate sales activity on Vancouver Island. The number of homes sold across the Island last month was down when compared to May 2016. However home sales in May had climbed markedly from the totals recorded during April.

Statistics released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) indicates that 632 single family properties were sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) within VIREB’s coverage area last month – down 17 percent from a year ago when 765 homes sold. VIREB’s coverage area encompasses virtually all of Vancouver Island, except the Greater Victoria area, and extends from the Malahat in the south to Port Hardy in the north.

The May sales figures however represented a 32 percent increase in activity over April 2017 when only 477 homes sold on the MLS®. It’s likely the warmer weather, coupled with the fact Spring is traditionally a time for energized home sales all played parts in the month to month increase in sales.

One issue that has been negatively impacting the number of homes being sold on Vancouver Island during the past few months was been the size of the inventory of available properties. It all comes down to basic arithmetic. If there are fewer homes listed for sale, fewer homes are going to be sold. The inventory of homes for sale on Vancouver Island had dipped by the end of 2016 to a record low 859! This shortage had created a genuine seller’s market as properties were being snapped up as quickly as they appeared for sale. But there are some solid signs that this unfortunate situation is slowly reversing.

Each month since December there has been a noticeable increase in the island housing inventory. Last month 1,210 active listings were recorded on the MLS® system, a major improvement over the state of the inventory that existed at the end of last year. While certainly an improvement, May’s inventory totals were still down 28 percent from May 2016 when 1,681 homes were available for purchase.

Home sale prices also indicated some growth last month when compared to a year ago. In Nanaimo for example the benchmark price of home sold in May hit $473,200, an increase of 21 percent from May 2016. Similar increases were recorded all across the Island. In Duncan the benchmark price last month had climbed 15 percent to $366,200, while in the Parksville / Qualicum beach area the benchmark price rose 18 percent to $491,500. Averaged out across the Board, the benchmark price of home sold within the VIREB coverage area in May rose to $431,200 – an 18 percent increase over May 2016.

So what does it all mean? Inventories are climbing, prices are generally trending upward, and the most active home buying season of the year is about to begin. The bottom line is: now is a great time to place your home on the market. It’s also a terrific season for buying a home as there are now more to choose from and in all likelihood the prices are only going to continue to rise – so now is literally the perfect time!