March statistics show steady real estate market

In his monthly Real Estate Watch column, realtor Tom Andrews looks at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board statistics.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) released data for March sales of single family homes in the Cowichan Valley. The number of homes sold totaled 41 compared to 44 for  March last year, a decrease of seven per cent. The average price was $324,527, a decrease of about $7,000 or two per cent compared to last year’s average price of $331,202 in March. For the 12 months ending in March, prices averaged $342,000 compared to a year ago when the 12-month average price was $346,600. This represents a drop of only one per cent year-over-year to date. In terms of volume, 541 homes have sold in the last 12 months, while a year ago, 573 homes had sold in the previous 12 months. This is a decline of 32 homes or six per cent year-over-year. The comparison of the latest 12 months versus a year ago gives a better indication of the trend than looking at month-over-month comparisons. In any given month, the results can be skewed by one or two high- or low-end sales compared to the normal range of prices and mix of homes.

Inventory has increased steadily since the beginning of  the year from 380 listings in January to 457 in March. The number of months of supply has dropped from 12.7 in January to 11.2 in March. A supply of greater than six months favours buyers, while less than six months is a seller’s market. In other sectors of the market, the supply of condo apartments sits at 18.5 months, and there is a 21-month supply of condo townhouses.

In the local market, nine homes sold in Ladysmith at an average sale price of $306,400. This compares to five sales in February at an average of $329,000 and six in January averaging $298,000. In Chemainus, three homes sold in March, and the average price was $258,000. Saltair had the highest average price at $380,000 for the two homes sold. The average sale price does not include waterfront homes or private sales.

Statistics provide trends and a general overview of the real estate market. However, each home is a unique property in terms of characteristics and appeal. Sellers need to be aware of comparable homes currently for sale and what has recently sold in the local market. A realtor can provide this information to a seller in the form of a CMA or a Comparative Market Analysis. This will help the seller determine a competitive price at which to list to attract the highest number of buyers and interest. If a home is priced too high, buyers will not be interested, as they know what other choices are available and what has sold based on information a realtor has provided them. Realtors provide expert knowledge to both sellers and buyers. Use an expert to help you through the process of buying and selling real estate.

Tom Andrews is a realtor with Coast Realty in Ladysmith. He can be reached at 250-245-0545. Call for a free home appraisal or market update. It’s your move!