As 2014 draws to a close, 2015 rapidly approaches. Over the past year the Comox Valley real estate market experienced a number of changes. The year followed the bottom of a pricing cycle and sales increased to a level not seen since 2009. As sales picked up throughout the year overall inventory dropped and as of the writing of this blog it is about 4% less than last year. While 2014 sales are still below the 20 year average number of sales it will be very close to it by year’s end.
At the start of 2014 we were still dealing with a buyer’s market but as the fall approached we were seeing signs of a move towards a more neutral market and many sellers were not as willing to take the discounts from market prices they had been earlier in the year. As the year comes to a close, the 12 month average price of a single family home in the valley is actually up 5% from last year.
Looking at overall sales, many variations of homes in Courtenay sales and Comox still dominate the market with 36% and 26% of market share respectively. Cumberland is a distant third at 9%. Houses make up 57% of the residential properties that are for sale in the Comox Valley. Condos come in second at 36%.
The luxury home market showed signs of life in 2014. For example, there were no sales of homes over $1M in 2012, there were five in 2013 and six this year. Having said this the luxury home market currently remains a buyers market. As of the 1st of December, there were 201 active listings offered for sale above $500,000. Of these, 170 were in the $500,000 to $1M price range, 25 were priced between $1M and $2M and there were six over $2M. As well, the inventory of waterfront homes shrunk and 1 in 4 sold in 2014.
So what does this all mean? We should see a modest price increase in the Comox Valley home market in 2015. Inventory should continue to fall and sales should increase. We will likely see a market that is close to neutral and we should also see a luxury home market moving towards a more neutral market. One of the key factors to watch will be interest rates. The Bank of Canada is on record stating that there should be a rise in the prime rate next year so if that happens mortgage will become more expensive.
Buyers, if you are thinking of buying get it done early in 2015 and if you have a home to sell get it on the market very early in the year so that you are in a position to buy when the market heats up. If you wait you may end up paying more for the same home and you could miss the best time of the market if your home does not sell.
Want to know more? Contact Brett and make an appointment to list your home or to ask Brett to be your buyer’s agent. Let’s get started to make 2015 a great real estate experience for you whether you are a buyer or a seller.