September 3, 2013
Strong Home Sales Suggest a Stabilizing Market
NANAIMO, BC – Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data for August released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) shows housing sales activity across Vancouver Island was up 38 per cent compared to last year. The average price of a single family home sold within the VIREB region in August 2013 was $339,809, which is an increase of four per cent from the average sale price recorded in August 2012. There was a significant increase in unit sales for August 2013, where 391 units were recorded, in comparison to August 2012, when 283 single family homes sold. However, when looking at these same figures over a 12-month basis, units sold only grew by one per cent, while the average price actually dropped one per cent to $329,502.
In terms of unit sales year-over-year for the month of August, there continued to be a wide disparity among our different areas: Campbell River witnessed continued growth, reporting a 55% increase; Comox Valley unit sales were up 26%; Nanaimo sales spiked by 62%; Parksville/Qualicum sales rose by 14%; Cowichan Valley saw a 31% increase, and Port Alberni/West Coast experienced the largest growth, jumping 80% from last year.
“Although we have seen significant month-over-month increases in both unit sales and average pricing in most of our markets this month, when looking at these numbers on a longer term basis, we are still seeing a gradual upward trend indicative of a more balanced and stable market,” said VIREB president, Gary Gray. “We are encouraged that we have continued to experience slow and steady growth since the second quarter, and anticipate that consumer confidence will continue to increase leading into next year,” he stated.
At the end of August 2013 there were 2,805 single family homes available on the Multiple Listing Service® within VIREB’s coverage area, down from the 3,159 homes in the system at the end of August 2012. Additionally, the number of new listings for the month of August were down 25% from this time last year.
Cameron Muir, chief economist for the British Columbia Real Estate Association, felt that the 25% drop in new listings this month was not a concern, and suggested that it will lead to a more balanced market condition moving forward. “As sales activity and demand come up, it is anticipated that supply will rise to meet that demand,” he stated.