Real estate in Ladysmith has kept steady following last year’s hot market.
The average median sale price has gone up 2.36 percent over the year, climbing to $390,000 from $380,000. The average cost of a single family home has also risen 9.37 percent to $444,000 from $406,000. Homes take an average of 37 days to sell, up from an average of 35 days last year.
“We’re not getting the multiple offers we were getting last year, but I’ve had two in the last couple of weeks,” Royal LePage real estate agent, Jillian Dashwood said. “Anything under $400,000 goes in a millisecond. Anything under $500,000, they’re selling quickly.”
Dashwood said homes around the $700,000 range are taking longer to sell, unless they have a legal suite. Banks are more likely to approve mortgages on expensive homes that have a legal suite, as that income goes toward mortgage payments.
Ladysmith and the Cowichan Valley are not subject to the foreign buyers tax that has affected markets in Vancouver and Nanaimo. Dashwood said there has not been a noticeable increase in foreign buyers moving to Ladysmith.
“Foreign buyers want to be in Vancouver, Victoria, where there’s lots of services, buses, and universities. We find we get a lot more younger retirees, that’s very popular in Ladysmith. We’re getting more families and retired people living here,” Dashwood said.
For the most part, people are moving from Vancouver and Victoria to Ladysmith for a break from city life. People are also moving from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. Buyers tend to be active and want to live in Ladysmith for the warmer weather and lifestyle.
“People are coming here, they want to live here. They’re not buying on speculation. This is a community where people come to actually live,” Dashwood said.
New housing developments like the Holland Creek development, and new houses in the Russel Road area are driving interest in the Ladysmith market. In the last three months, there have been 61 sales of houses and condos in Ladysmith.
While the market is steady, Dashwood says there is a lack of affordable housing and starter homes available for Ladysmith residents.
“We need way more entry level homes, and more town homes so people can afford to get into the market,” Dashwood said. “You want a balanced community, so building something that’s affordable for families, or even retirees — so you’re hitting both ends of the market — I think is really important.”