February Housing Sales on the Rise

There was a major jump in Vancouver Island housing sales last month. According to the latest statistics released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) the sale of single family homes across the Island rose by 15 percent in February when compared to a year ago, and were actually up a whopping 49 percent when compared to January of this year.

According to the VIREB report 260 single family homes were reported sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System last month, compared to the 227 that traded hands during February 2018. But that sales spike was mild when compared to January’s stats when only 174 homes were reported sold on the MLS® System.

Interestingly the energized housing marketplace was restricted solely to single family homes, as all other residential housing categories reported sales declines. For example 19 percent fewer apartments were reported sold during February than traded hands a year ago, while the townhouse segment recorded 10 percent fewer sales year-over-year.

The overall number of properties on the market across VIREB’s coverage area, which extends from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the start of the Malahat in the south, continued to rise during February. Last month there were 1,069 single family homes for sale on Vancouver Island, up eight percent from the same month last year when 992 properties of this type were on the block.

The number of apartments for sale climbed dramatically in February, jumping 37 percent from a year ago, with 358 homes of this type listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® System. During last February only 261 apartments were listed for sale. The number of townhouses on the MLS® System actually dropped 11 percent year-over-year to 144. Last year at the same time there were 162 townhouses on the market.

VIREB uses benchmark pricing to track the value of typical homes in each of its individual zones, and the latest report shows that housing prices continued to rise across the Island last month. The February board-wide benchmark price of a single family home was listed at $516,500, a three percent increase from the same month last year. This price is an incremental rise over January’s board-wide price.

Price increases were reported in all housing categories last month. For example the board-wide benchmark price in the apartment category was up five percent to $310,800, which is up slightly from January’s benchmark price. The board-wide benchmark price of townhouses also edged up, by two percent year-over-year, to reach $411,200 last month. This is a marginal increase from January’s price.

Price increases were also reported in most of VIREB’s individual zones, such as in Nanaimo where the benchmark price rose by three percent to close the month at $564,700. In the Parksville / Qualicum Beach area the benchmark price actually dipped slightly to $578,300, when compared to a year ago. The benchmark price of single family homes in the Cowichan Valley rose by four percent last month to reach $479,300, while in the Comox Valley the price had edged up two percent to $517,600.

Further north in Campbell River the benchmark price was up four percent during February, ending the month at $442,000, while in the Alberni Valley the February benchmark price of a single family home was also up four percent, reaching $321,000 when compared to the same month last year.

By any standard the real estate marketplace on Vancouver Island is dynamic and ever-changing. Today more than ever you need the services of experienced sales professionals to navigate such complicated fiscal waters. Contact Peter and Kathy Koch today to begin your journey toward home ownership.