Market still on the same track, just further down the line.

The media is still reporting a cooling in the market like it’s ‘news’ but it’s really just more of the same pattern we’ve been seeing since the beginning of the year, just further along. The only real difference I’ve noticed in things since then is that there is a wider variety of perceptions out there regarding what the real estate market is doing.

I’m hearing some people who think it’s still booming while there are others who think the end is nigh, and all sorts of variations in the middle. Not surprising as the market isn’t strongly a buyer’s market or a sellers market, we’re hearing horror stories from the US while lots of people don’t realize that our market is separate, and some people have heard about the boom for so long that it hasn’t occurred to them that it might be over. I personally think that with the large inventory out there that it is slightly slanted towards buyers, as they have lots to choose from.

I’m seeing a variety of situations around my office. Some Realtors are busy handling listings and doing more price reductions, but making a bit sales than usual while for others things seem pretty normal. As for me, I’m busier than usual with more people than ever, so go figure. It’s not last year’s market for sure, but there’s still plenty of life in it.

Eventually, the general public will come to terms with the changes that have happened, and by then there’ll be newer changes to learn about. The adapting game continues. Play on!

Ryan Coffey

Home sales are cooling off here

Value is still good and there is lots to choose from

Darrell Bellaart
The Daily News

The latest home sale statistics show a slowdown in the local market and may also indicate that some sellers are asking too much for their homes.

“Sometimes sellers’ expectations are more than what the market is,” said Jim Stewart, one of four Vancouver Island Real Estate Board directors in Nanaimo.

VIREB realtors sold 111 houses in June, representing a 33% drop from the same month a year ago.

And while sales prices continue to rise, the rise is not as fast as a year ago, and realtors are pointing to the drop as evidence some sellers are pricing themselves too high.

The average selling price in June was $372,100, up 11% from last year, when it was $335,246. Buyers and sellers should use sales price numbers cautiously, since sales averages can easily be skewed when they include a lot of expensive properties.

But Stewart said those numbers are fairly representative of current conditions, since only three of 811 sales between January and June 30 sold for more than $1 million.

“Of the 811 sales, 338 were between $300,00 and $400,000,” Stewart said “One hundred and sixty-five sales were between $400,000 and $500,000, so the two sales values, that represent 50% of the market between $300,000 and $500,000.”

The median price is $362,000. The median price is determined by taking the middle number from the full range of houses that actually sold.

With some areas of Vancouver reporting slight drops, some buyers are holding off, thinking the same is about to happen on Vancouver Island.

“The favourite saying I hear is the bubble is going to burst. That would suggest we’re an overinflated marketplace and we just don’t have that. What we have is a market that is solid because it isn’t created by cheap mortgages,” Stewart said.

Nanaimo is still an affordable market where people want to live, and sellers whose properties aren’t moving should consider re-evaluating the price, he said.

Island-wide, sales volumes are down 30% from this time last year.

Cowichan Valley reported the greatest price increases this month, at 16%, to an average of $417,000. Campbell River saw the least increase, at 4%, to $330,000. Port Alberni still has the most affordable houses, at $243,000, but prices there rose 11% in June.

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