Interesting facts about Comox Valley real estate:
- This past year in real estate was a little different as the first part of 2013 experienced lagging activity in anticipation of a spring provincial election which many touted as the end of the Liberal regime. To the surprise of most pundits, the NDP didn’t live up to expectations and once the dust cleared, it was a resounding win for the Liberal government and business returned to somewhat normal pace.
- As we roll into 2014 we are seeing signs of good things for the year. There are some price corrections in the used housing market and less new construction in light of builders’ hesitation to carry properties through the winter months, but the reduction in overall listings and activity with buyers at the end of 2013 point to positive growth.
- The average price of single family homes in the first half of 2013 was down from June the previous year, sitting at $337,000 in 2013, down from $354,000 in 2012. That average sale price hovered between $335,000 and $345,000 from February right through to the end of the year. Sales and days to sell were just about identical in 2012 and 2013 and number of active listings are down slightly;
- By far the most active price ranges for homes are between $200,000 and $400,000, accounting for 66% of the total market;
- As usual, the vast majority of all single family sales in our area occur in Comox and East Courtenay with Comox sales at 29% of the total market and East Courtenay following at 17.4%, translating into 238 and 143 sales respectively for the year. With some infill and new construction in the City of Courtenay, it has improved over the past few years and is recording 14% of the market at 115 sales (just 5 more than 2012);
- Due to new homes being built and more lots coming on the market in Cumberland, it is now sitting at 7.4% of the total number of sales with 61 in 2013 and home sales in Crown Isle trail most other areas at just 22 in total last year, or 2.7% of the year’s total sales. This may be partly as a result of overall higher prices with 17 between $700,000, just 4 between $350,000 and $400,000 (within our average range) and 1 between $800,000 and $900,000;
- In the rural areas – outside Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland – the most active areas are the Comox Peninsula, Courtenay North, Courtenay West, Courtenay South, Union Bay and Merville/Black Creek with all at between 32 and 55 total sales in all price ranges;
- Interesting that in 2012 just 47% of what was listed actually sold and in 2013 that increased to 55% which is better than it has been for a few years. At this moment it remains a buyers’ market and accurate pricing is extremely important, but that could change this year. As always, buyers are very particular about what they will buy and what they are prepared to pay for it and it often takes sellers awhile to mentally, or maybe emotionally, catch up with what is occurring around them;
- The condominium market remains strong with the most listings being apartment-style, but the best prices realized are for patio homes. Of note is that there were less listings of both in 2013, but more sales. Townhouse sales have seen a reduction in number of listings and number of sales and the sale prices have come down a bit. Following new construction in 2011 and 2012, those sold and now we are left primarily with resales of existing homes. Even though average prices are down a bit they are still very affordable for the living space;
- The lot market remains sluggish due to little supply and not much subdivision taking place. While there were 128 active listings, down from 169 in 2012, there were only 47 sales over the past year with the median and average prices well below what they have been and those sales taking more than 5 months. The lack of affordable development property is a factor and has obviously pushed lot prices aove what most buyers are prepared to pay in many cases;
- To summarize, the most active price ranges up to the end of December continue to be $250,000 to $400,000. There were a significant number of people, 211 or almost 26% of total sales, who sold their homes between $400,000 and $700,000, but just 19 sales over $700,000.
With historically low interest rates anticipated to be around for awhile and prices relatively stable, it remains to be a good time for buyers to take advantage and invest in real estate in 2014. Sellers still have to be a bit patient, but the outlook could improve a bit this year and is encouraging with the number of active listings declining. It is always important for people with their property on the market to do what they can to make it stand out from the masses, which includes being price conscious.
If you are considering selling or buying a home/investment in 2014, wondering about the current market or just wanting to talk to me about your real estate, I’d love to hear from you! I will provide you with honest, accurate information and keep you current.
Call or write any time!