MLS “Computerized Listings” from 1981

Ryan Coffey
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Next to the copier upstairs in my company office, there is this strange old collection of catalogues. These catalogues which were only recently discontinued, were monthly editions of mls listings for the area. They intruiged me not merely because “Oh, wow… loook at how things have changed. Things are so much faster and more colourful now.” but also because of the info they contain.

The database which us Realtors use every day only goes back to about 1991 or so. Why is that significant? It’s because although we have average price statistics that go back to 1982 (which I’ve posted before on this blog), this is the first time I’ve seen a solid collection of listings that predate that. The prices of the listings compared to now underscore how much things have gone up in price over the years. In case you didn’t know, 1981 is now a legendary time for real estate in our area. The handful of people still working in my industry who were in the business back then tell tales of interest rates of upwards of 18% on mortgages and scores and scores of foreclosures as a result.

But times change, as they always do. Those who had the capacity to think long term, buy in and hold on had their equity rise. The rest, well, didn’t. Below are scanned copies of a few pages from one of these catalogues. I chose ones which relate to some recent sales. One shows listings which include houses on orchard circle. I sold a house on the street earlier this year in the mid 300k range. On another page is a property that is currently on the market, 5860 Parkway Drive. It’s current asking price is $299,900 compares to the $124,900 asking price it had as a “new rancher”. Yes,money goes towards maintenance and mortgage interest over the years but it’s hard to argue that rent is better, although some will try. The prices below can barely even cover an old, small and not very maintained condo these days let alone a big new house.

I also found some real estate ads in a newspaper from 1961 and put them on this blog a few years back. The title is “Houses for $5000, an interesting piece of Nanaimo’s Real Estate past. “

And in case you’re wondering what is meant by a”computerized” catalogue of listings, I’m not sure either.  🙂

Click on the images below  to make them large enough to read.