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April 3rd, 2012
NANAIMO, BC — Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) indicates a steady increase in sales activity during the first quarter of 2012. Across VIREB's coverage area last month average sales prices dipped 8% over what they were in March 2011. The average sales price for a single family home sold within VIREB's zones in March was $320,677 down from the March 2011 average price of $347,522. The year to year number of unit sales also dropped, by 22%, when compared to March 2011 when 384 single family homes were sold, compared to the 299 unit sales recorded in March 2012. On a month to month basis however statistics show a positive trend in sales activity across the VIREB zones. In January there were 216 single family home sales reported, February recorded 269, with March continuing this upward trend with 299 single unit sales.
"An unusually brisk period of sales last March can easily skew the numbers," said VIREB President-Elect Gary Gray. "The 299 sales registered last month is a more accurate reflection of the marketplace. The time of the year and the less than Spring-like weather are all factors when it comes to people getting out and shopping for real estate. I know myself that when we had a few days of brighter weather recently things were much more active in our office."
As of the end of March 2012 there were 2,702 single family homes available on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) within VIREB's coverage area, virtually identical to the 2,701 homes in the system at the end of March 2011. The March MLS® stats represent an increase of approximately 10% over February 2012 when there were 2,441 single family homes available for sale.
"There is a lot of activity happening out there, regardless of what the numbers state," explained VIREB Past-President Jim Stewart. "The stats represent a one month snapshot, compared to a pretty exceptional March of last year. Campbell River saw a 31% increase in home sales last month, which could have been due to any number of factors. Many different and separate factors can come together to produce an anomalous statistic. The key is to view the level of activity over a longer period, and over the long term the market appears level, stable and showing some signs of positive growth."
Comparing March 2012 to March 2011, the average sale prices across VIREB's six zones saw: Campbell River decrease 11% (to $269,186), the Comox Valley dipped 5% to $332,464, Nanaimo's average sales price decreased 5% (to $349,806), Parksville/Qualicum slipped 10% (to $351,881), Port Alberni/West Coast dipped 5% to $207,290 and the Cowichan Valley decreased 8% (to $337,697). Within these markets small shifts in sales activity can easily skew the cumulative totals when comparing on a monthly basis, such as with Campbell River. Contact a REALTOR® for interpretation of trends in your area.

Posted File: 03-mar_12_sales_summary.pdf