Despite lower demand year-over-year benchmark prices of single-family homes continue to rise board-wide, up around nine per cent from January 2018. Price increases in individual markets ranged from five per cent in Nanaimo to 17 per cent in Port Alberni. Although Vancouver Island has felt the effects of the mortgage stress test. Also referred as Guideline B-20. The toll on single-family housing sales throughout the province in January dropped by 28 per cent from one year ago, albeit they did rise by 23 per cent from December 2018. General demand is lower while potential Buyers adjust however there still is very little supply in active price points keeping the markets somewhat balanced.
In the previous month, 209 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 170 in December and 290 in the past year. Sales of apartments were 20 per cent lower than in January 2018, while 34 townhouses sold last month compared to 33 the previous year.
Inventory of single-family homes in January rose by 32 per cent from one year ago (987 compared to 748) and was nearly five per cent higher than in December.
We have found the 2018 housing market behaved as expected, moderating after the phenomenal record-setting pace set in 2016 and 2017. Guideline B-20 eroded the purchasing power of some prospective home buyers by as much as 20 per cent.
Even with the lower demand, year-over-year benchmark prices of single-family homes continue to rise across the board, up nine per cent from January 2018. We have noticed in individual markets price increases range from five per cent in Nanaimo to 17 per cent in Port Alberni. Month-over-month modest price reductions occurred in Campbell River, the Comox Valley, and Parksville-Qualicum while prices in Duncan, Nanaimo, and Port Alberni increased slightly from December 2018. The year-over-year benchmark prices of apartments and townhouses board-wide increased by 11 and 10 per cent, respectively.
Housing market noted by VIREB has transitioned from one favouring sellers to one that is balanced or near balanced. At dg & Associates we are reporting less multiple offers, with many buyers taking more of a wait-and-see approach in the higher price points. Some are waiting until spring in the hope that inventory goes up. Balanced markets offer buyers more choice and more room to negotiate, while sellers may need to curb their expectations.
President (2019) Kaye Broens says, “Right now, many sellers still want to list their homes at 2016 and 2017 sale prices, and that just isn’t realistic”.
The single-family home benchmark board-wide was $504,500 in January, a 9 per cent increase from one year ago but a slight drop from December. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $407,600 last month, up 10 per cent over January 2018 but down slightly from December.
Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in Nanaimo’s rose 5 per cent to $541,700 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 12 per cent to $579,800. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $498,000, up 9 per cent from last January. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $469,400, up 10 per cent from January 2018. In the Campbell River area hit $412,300, an increase of 12 per cent over January 2018The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $302,700 in January, up 17 per cent from one year ago.
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