Interesting facts about Comox Valley real estate:
- This past year in real estate was very different from anything I remember. In my real estate career, spanning more than 30 years, I don’t recall anything quite the same as it was in 2017. We saw less listings taking less time to sell, more people wanting to buy, multiple offers on just about everything and rising prices.
- The average price of single family homes was on the rise in 2016 and that trend continued throughout 2017, beginning at about $416,000 in January and finishing out the year at $491,000. Total number of sales were down in 2017 (889) in comparison to 2016 (1022) largely because there was less to sell and it took less time to achieve those sales in 2017;
- By far the most active price ranges for homes are between $400,000 and $600,000, accounting for 50% of the total market with $350,000 to $400,000 and $600,000 to $700,000 eccompassing another 22% of the sales;
- As usual, the vast majority of all single family sales in our area occur in Comox and East Courtenay with Comox sales at 20% of the total market and East Courtenay following at 17.3%, translating into 208 and 180 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 17.6% of the market at 184 sales, down from 209 in 2016;
- Due to new homes being built and more lots coming on the market in Cumberland, it is now sitting at 8% of the total number of sales with 84 in 2017 and home sales in Crown Isle have improved over the past few years with 53 sales. Most other areas range from 41 to 66 total sales which equates to approximately 31% of the year’s total sales. This may be partly as a result of overall higher prices along with a renewed interest in acreages and small rural properties;
- In the rural areas – outside Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland – the most active areas are the Comox Peninsula, Courtenay North, Union Bay and Merville/Black Creek with all at between 54 and 66 total sales in all price ranges for the year;
- Interesting that in 2016 85% of what was listed actually sold and in 2017 that decreased to 78% which is considerably better than it has been in the past. At this moment it remains a sellers’ market and accurate pricing is still extremely important. 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 patio homes in 2017 and far more sales of apartment style condos. Townhouse sales have seen a small increase in number of listings, about the same number of sales and sale prices have risen 15%. New construction is still part of the story with townhouses and average prices are up there as well. They continue to be very affordable while providing good living space;
- The lot market remains slow due to little supply and not much subdivision taking place. While there were 70 active listings, down from 105 in 2016, there were only 57 sales over the past year with the median and average prices close to the same at just over $200,000. Those sales are sometimes taking up to 6 months. The lack of affordable development property is a factor and has obviously pushed some lot prices above what most buyers are prepared to pay;
- To summarize, the most active price ranges up to the end of December continue to be $350,000 to $700,000. There were a significant number of people, 768 or almost 74% of total sales, who sold their homes between $350,000 and $700,000, but just 133 sales over $700,000. That includes the most ever sales over $1M at 29!
With historically low interest rates still anticipated to be around for awhile and prices relative to other locations still extremely reasonable, it remains to be a good time for buyers to take advantage and invest in real estate in 2018, after all, you have to live somewhere. Why pay the landlord when you can invest in yourself? Sellers in some price ranges still have to be patient, but with the number of active listings declining it looks like it will continue to be a sellers’ market. 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 2018, 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, local market expertise and keep you current which are all considered to be valuable insights that I can offer as your real estate agent.
Call or write any time!