December 3rd, 2012
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data for November released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) shows housing sales activity across Vancouver Island climbed nine percent compared to last year, while average sale prices dipped four percent. The average price of a single family home sold within the VIREB region in November was $317,708 down from the November 2011 average price of $332,438. The number of reported unit sales was up last month when compared to a year ago. In November 2011 there were 264 single family homes sold, in comparison 289 unit sales were recorded in November 2012. “It’s a case of steady as it goes in terms of the marketplace,” explained Cameron Muir, Chief Economist with the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA). “There has been relative stability in sales and pricing on Vancouver Island in the last half of 2012. Into 2013 I think we can expect more of the same.” As of the end of November 2012 there were 2,397 single family homes available on the Multiple Listing Service® within VIREB’s coverage area, a slight decrease from the 2,410 homes in the system at the end of November 2011. “It’s a case of staying the course in terms of sales activity. We have a month that is up slightly and I expect next month to be much the same,” explained VIREB President Guy Bezeau. “There does seem to be greater interest in the lower end of the market, but with a good inventory and continuing low interest rates I anticipate buyers will continue to find the product out there attractive.” Comparing November 2012 to November 2011, the average sale prices across VIREB's six zones saw: Campbell River decrease six percent to $266,965, the Comox Valley dropped 14 percent to $301,596, Nanaimo’s average sales price dipped three percent to $348,624 from the November 2011 average price of $361,210, Parksville/Qualicum prices were up three percent to $375,639, Port Alberni/West Coast was down five percent to $195,200 while the Cowichan Valley increased four percent to $365,159. In terms of unit sales year to year there continued to be a wide disparity among the different zones last month. The Comox Valley region recorded a massive 51 percent increase in unit sales while Campbell River unit sales dropped 10 percent compared to November 2011. Port Alberni / West Coast recorded a 47 percent increase in unit sales on a year to year basis, Cowichan Valley sales were up 24 percent while other regions reported sales declines in the five percent range. It is always recommended to contact a local REALTOR® to receive an accurate picture of local sales trends as regional factors continue to dramatically alter the monthly statistical picture.