Sales of single-family homes in November on Vancouver Island declined by 28 per cent from one year ago and were 21 per cent lower than in October. Last month, 305 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 384 in October and 426 one year ago. Modest inventory increases are helping The Vancouver Island Real Estate market transition from one favouring sellers to a balanced or near-balanced market. Active listings of single-family homes have dropped each month since hitting this year’s high of 1,418, which occurred in July.
This year's housing market has behaved as expected, moderating after the record-setting pace set in 2016 and 2017. Government policy-side measures introduced to cool the market, such as the mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20) and higher interest rates, are impacting housing sales throughout the country.
Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems fell by 2.3% in November 2018, adding to the decline in October of 1.7%. While the number of homes trading hands is still up from its low point in the spring, it remains below monthly levels posted from 2014 through 2017.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in November 2018 was just over $488,000, down 2.9% from the same month last year. The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in Greater Vancouver and the GTA, two of Canada's most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $110,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just over $378,000.
On Vancouver Island despite lower demand, however, year-over-year benchmark prices of single-family homes continue to rise boardwide, up 12 per cent from November 2017. Price increases in individual markets ranged from nine per cent in the Comox Valley to 23 per cent in Port Alberni. Slight price reductions from October to November were posted in the Comox Valley and Duncan while modest increases were seen in Campbell River, Nanaimo, and Parksville-Qualicum. Port Alberni posted the highest month-over-month increase, up 3.69 per cent from October. The benchmark price of an apartment rose by 15 per cent year over year as did the cost of a townhouse.
As previously discussed the market has split into two in some communities: one that favours sellers for properties around $425,000 and under and one favouring buyers for higher-end homes. The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $509,500 in November, a 12 per cent increase from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) In the apartment category, the benchmark price climbed to $314,800, up 15 per cent from last year. The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $415,900 last month, up 15 per cent over November 2017. Board-wide benchmark prices of single family homes, apartments, and townhouses also rose slightly from October. Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $409,000, an increase of 15 per cent over November 2017. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $500,000, up nine per cent from last year but down slightly from October. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $473,600, up 12 per cent from November 2017 and a bit lower than in October. while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by nine per cent to $571,500. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $311,300 in November, up 23 per cent from one year ago and four per cent from October.
In Our Local Market Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 10 per cent to $550,200.
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