Whether you are buying or selling a home or property in the Comox Valley real estate market, it is important to understand and keep track of the market to make informed decisions on your most important investment. The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) provides some great Comox Valley real estate market statistics that can be used as part of your decision-making process.
Comox Valley real estate market statistics are maintained for 12 distinct areas of VIREB. For real estate purposes, the City of Courtenay is divided into Courtenay City, Courtenay East, Courtenay West, Courtenay South (an area that includes Royston), Courtenay North and Crown Isle. Additional real estate areas include the Comox Peninsula, the Town of Comox, the Village of Cumberland, Mount Washington, the area comprising Merville and Black Creek (including the Saratoga Beach area), and the area comprising Union Bay and Fanny Bay (an area that extends south to Mud Bay). Why is it important to know this? For statistics to be meaningful and relevant to you, you need to know which area is similar to the one that you are currently living in, or to where you are planning to move.
For example, last year the average selling price in Crown Isle was the highest of these areas followed closely by Mount Washington. However, in neither of these two ares were homes located that sold for the highest prices. Homes that sold for the highest prices in the Comox Valley last year were located in Courtenay South followed by Courtenay East, the Black Creek/Merville area, and then Comox. Statistics can be used with great effect to help buyers and sellers but they have to be relevant to your situation. As the old adage says – statistics can be used to show almost anything.
In addition to being broken down by area, residential real estate statistics in the Comox Valley are maintained on single family homes, single family homes on acreages, single family homes on waterfront, single family strata, single family modular/prefab homes, condos (apartments, patio homes and town homes), half-duplexes, full duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes, manufactured and mobile homes on a pad, farms and ranches, lots, strata lots and waterfront lots, acreages and waterfront acreages. It is important, therefore to know what is being presented statistically. For example, how relevant is a newspaper article to you that states “average single family home prices down 1% compared to last year”. What types of single family homes are included in the statistics and from what areas, and what types of homes are excluded from the statistics?
Let’s take an extreme hypothetical example to make the last point. Two Courtenay homes sold last year in a specific area for 700,000 and 100,000 respectively. The average sale price was 400,000. Fifteen homes sold this year in the same area for 400,000. The average selling price was 400,000. The statistical conclusion is that the average price of homes in that area remains unchanged from last year, but is the conclusion meaningful? Moreover, is it relevant to your situation?
While general statistics derived for an entire category of homes throughout the Comox Valley may be interesting, they may not be either meaningful or relevant to your specific situation. What if you wish to buy some Courtenay properties? What is often more relevant is what homes similar to yours in your neighborhood sold for during the same or similar market conditions. Why is this important? The value of your home at any given time is determined by the market. The market value of a specific home in a “buyer’s market” could be substantially different in a “seller’s market”. Other factors come into play as well. For example, how many days were the homes on the market before they sold? If the average price of homes similar to yours sold in your neighborhood for about the same this year as last, but took five times as long to sell this year, would this not be important to know? If last year nearly 60% of homes listed in your neighborhood and price range sold, but only 30% have sold so far this year, would you want to know this?
It is important to understand and keep track of Comox Valley real estate market statistics if you are considering buying or selling a home. Don’t just rely on generalized statistics to do this. Statistics need to be meaningful and relevant to your situation if they are going to be considered as part of your decision-making process on your most important investment – your home. The more that you know about the Comox Valley market, the better off you will be when you enter the market whether as a buyer or seller.
When it comes to the future, you can prepare for it while it is still in the world of tomorrow, react to it when it arrives and becomes today, or wonder what happened when it passes into the memory of yesterday. The same is true of the real estate market. Prepare yourself by becoming knowledgeable before you enter the market so that you can make informed decisions on your most important investment.
If you are not currently working with a realtor and are considering becoming a buyer or a seller of residential real estate in the Comox Valley Brett Cairns of RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty can help you become better informed on our real estate market. He am a full-time, full-service, professional Realtor located in Comox who provides professional real estate services for buyers and sellers of residential real estate in the Comox Valley.
by Brett Cairns