Housing market ends on high note

Volumes on Vancouver Island were up 13 per cent in 2015

Annual housing sales volumes on Vancouver Island were up 13 per cent in 2015, says the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board in its December report.

A total of 4,886 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service in 2015, compared to 4,335 sales recorded the previous year.

Both the benchmark and average prices increased last year, up 6.9 per cent and four per cent respectively, and inventory levels were at their lowest since 2005, down 17 per cent from the previous December.

“Limited inventory continues to place upward pressure on prices, which has created market conditions that favour sellers,” the VIREB says.

BC Real Estate Association Chief Economist Cameron Muir predicts that housing sales in 2016 will remain robust throughout most of the province, although we may not see the same level of acceleration that occurred in 2015.

“The housing market is in a very healthy position heading into 2016, fueled by consumer demand and low interest rates,” said Muir. “Lack of inventory throughout much of the province will see home buyers competing for properties, particularly in the single-family-detached market.”

In December 2015, 277 single-family homes sold in the VIREB coverage area, up eight per cent from the 257 sales recorded the previous December and a 21 per cent drop from November 2015 – sales usually drop in December.

The benchmark price for a single-family home was $338,500, up 6.91 per cent from one year ago. Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area. The average MLS price of a single-family home in December was $362,128, up two per cent from December 2014.

Duncan reported a benchmark price of $302,300, an increase of 7.87 per cent over the same month in 2014. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 5.36 per cent to $356,300