Sales in Ladysmith’s housing market have slowed due to a lack of housing supply.
January is typically a slow month for listings. Jillian Dashwood of Ladysmith Royal LePage said they currently have 64 listings in town, 28 of which are lots. Only nine of those listings are under $500,000; and there are eight listings between $500,000 and $600,000.
“It’s winter, and people are just getting themselves ready to list,” Dashwood said. “By the time we get to March or April we should have quite a few more listings in all the price ranges.”
In total, Royal LePage has 29 houses for sale, five modular homes, and one condo. In the last three months, they’ve sold six modular homes, six condos, and 23 houses – over half of which were under $500,000.
Although the lack of supply can be attributed to the winter weather, Dashwood said that there is a supply problem in Ladysmith.
“We have not had enough townhouses, or condos, or any of that stuff built in the last 20 years even,” she said.
Dashwood referenced the Crystal Court condos, the Knights Court condos, Edgewood Estates, and Executive by the Creek, as examples of what should be built in Ladysmith moving forward.
Home buying trends have shifted over the years. Dashwood said that first time buyers are looking to buy newer homes, rather than buying older homes and doing renovations.
“People just want those nicer homes,” Dashwood said. “I want people to have what they want, and what they can afford. For first time home buyers, my suggestion is if you want something a little bit newer, go into a townhouse.”
“You can be fine there for a period of time, you’ll make it yours, and be saving for the next level up. Going in to a newer home is going to cost you over $500,000.”
Dashwood said that building a supply of newer townhouses and condos will help attract younger families to Ladysmith – which will make for a more sustainable community.
“You want some young people. You want schools to be filled. You want the rec centre to be used. You want people buying at shops… We need more families living in Ladysmith,” Dashwood said.
Part of the problem attracting families to Ladysmith is the rapid growth of Nanaimo. Dashwood said families are looking at Nanaimo because of greater access to education, amenities, jobs, and transit.
“People want Nanaimo. If we could get to Nanaimo, then that might help us have more people living here,” Dashwood said. “But, people like the feeling of walking down the street [in Ladysmith], they want their kids to be safe, there’s lots of good reasons to be here. We just need more jobs, and more transit.”