The Comox Valley Real Estate market is rapidly approaching the fall of 2011. What will happen to it as it does? Summer 2011 is nearing its end, and we are rapidly approaching the fall season in the Comox Valley. As we do, what is happening with our Comox Valley real estate market?
To answer this question, let’s start by looking at some forecasts. On 16 Aug 2011, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) stated that national resale housing was stable, and in line with the 10-year average. CREA revised their BC 2011 sales forecast slightly higher in recognition of homes sales appearing to have bottomed out sooner than anticipated. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA), on 25 Aug 2011, announced that while residential sales are forecast to increase by 3.8% in 2011, and a further 3.6% in 2012, overall sales will remain below their 10-year average through 2012.
To put the BCREA forecast in perspective, their 15 June 2011 press release stated “BC Home Sales Edge Lower in May”, their 14 July 2011 press release stated that homes sales were relatively unchanged in June compared to last year, and their 11 Aug 2011 press release stated “BC Home Sales Edge Lower in July”. Their 30 Aug 2011 press release stated that the BC Commercial Leading Indicator Edges Lower in the second quarter of 2011 and mentioned some challenges to the BC economy that could lead to “softer commercial activity in the coming quarters”. This statement was balanced by one which stated that “an almost unprecedented decline in long-term interest rates may help to stimulate investment activity and soften the impact of slower economic growth”. Even against this backdrop, BCEA forecast the growth in home sales mentioned in the second paragraph above.
Having mentioned interest rates, where are they headed? Cameron Muir, the BCREA Chief Economist had earlier predicted steadily increasing interest rates throughout 2011 and 2012. In the 16 Aug 2011 press release, Gary Morse, the CREA president mentioned discussion of potential rate increases, but he added that interest rates have actually come down and are expected to remain low for the remainder of the year. Time will tell which organization is correct but one thing is for sure – mortgage interest rates are at or near historical 50 year lows.
Let’s now turn back to current Comox homes listings. According to the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB), the average selling price of a single family Comox Valley home was $347,383 in Aug 2011 compared to $325,369 one year ago. This average price for the last six months is similar to the spring/early summer of 2010 (six month period). Another pertinent statistic is the number of days to sell in August. For single family homes in the Comox Valley this increased from 66 days last year to 93 days this year. While these statistics may provide some sense of where the market is headed, they are not sufficient for decision-making in any specific circumstance. Contact me if you would like to discuss your specific circumstances concerning Comox Valley real estate and I will be pleased to help and answer your questions.
by Brett Cairns