The Vancouver Island housing market continues to be impacted by an abnormally low inventory of available product – in other words there are fewer homes being put up for sale. According to information released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) there were 1,122 homes listed for sale within the Board’s coverage area, which extends from the Malahat in the south to Port Hardy in the north. A year ago at this time there were 1,694 homes on the market. The April statistics represents a 33 percent decrease of the housing inventory from April 2016.
In addition, among the homes that were for sale on the regional market, fewer of them sold – suggesting that sellers are holding out, possibly for an increase in prices. In April 2016 a total of 659 homes were sold within the VIREB coverage area. Last month total sales reached 478 – which is a decrease in sales of 27 percent. By any measurement the Vancouver Island housing marketplace, which had for years been an active buyers market continues to be strongly favoring the sellers of properties.
The belief that a shortage of available homes will have a positive effect on the eventual selling price of a property appears to be true. Last month the so-called benchmark price of a single family home on Vancouver Island was pegged at $419,100 which is an increase of 17.5 percent from a year ago. Price increases were recorded in every regional zone within VIREB and across all types of properties. For example the benchmark price of an apartment rose by 28 percent from April 2016 while townhome prices rose 21 percent across the Board.
Looking at the individual Island regions, home sales prices have risen year over year all across the Island. For example last month the benchmark price of a home in Nanaimo was listed as $461,600, an increase of 22 percent from April 2016. In Campbell River single family homes prices rose 18 percent (to $335,800), in Parksville and Qualicum Beach by 20 percent (to $477,700) and by 13 percent in Duncan to $354,400.
Despite a smaller than typical inventory of homes and some upward movement of prices across Vancouver Island there are some signs that things may be preparing to enter a new phase. While 1,122 active listings is definitely down from the number available a year ago, it’s still a much higher number than December 2016 when the number of homes on the market hit an all time low of 859 properties. In fact the inventory has actually increased every month since then, showing that increasingly sellers are interested in entering the marketplace. In January there were 893 homes for sale, in February that total had climbed to 949 while in March it topped out at 1,023 properties for sale across the VIREB area.
The Vancouver Island real estate marketplace is dynamic, ever changing and filled with unique opportunities for home buyers of any taste, need or budget. To learn more, and to help find just the right property for you, check with your favorite Realty Executives Mid Island REALTOR®.