Multiple Listing Servic (MLS) sales summary data released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) shows housing sales activity across Vancouver Island increased a full 14 per cent last month as compared to a year ago, while average sale prices edged downward three per cent.
Across VIREB’s coverage area in July average sales prices dipped slightly when compared to July 2011, but the dollar value of home sales rose 11 per cent compared to a year earlier. The average sales price of a single family home sold within the VIREB region in July was $334,530 down minimally from the July 2011 average price of $344,655. The number of unit sales (on a year to year basis) increased 14 per cent. In July 2011 338 single family homes were sold, in comparison 385 unit sales were recorded in July 2012. The number of homes listed last month dipped incrementally by one per cent as compared to June 2011.
“This is a much more positive sign, and a strong indicator of increased consumer confidence,” explained VIREB President Guy Bezeau. “These numbers are part of an overall collaborative effect – terrific interest rates, a phenomenal and varied inventory of homes to choose from and finally good weather last month that encouraged people to get out and see what’s available. I think people had been sitting on the fence for a long time and last month they realized that the time is now.”
As of the end of July 2012 there were 3,317 single family homes available on the MLS within VIREB’s coverage area, up approximately three per cent from the 3,236 homes in the system at the end of July 2011. In July there were 777 homes listed on the MLS system, down one per cent from the 781 homes listed during July 2011
“The market has definitely been doing very well,” said VIREB Past President Jim Stewart. “There has been a lot of activity in the marketplace right across the Island. With all of the positive factors that have come into play this is clearly the right time to get into real estate. The projections from BCREA indicate that mortgage rates will continue at these historically low levels for some time to come. So with the choices out there buyers and sellers are both going to be winners.”
Comparing July 2012 to July 2011, the average sale prices across VIREB’s six zones saw: Campbell River edge upward two per cent to $296,231, the Comox Valley dipped two per cent to $345,369, Nanaimo’s average sales price climbed two per cent to $360,007 from the July 2011 price of $354,077, Parksville/Qualicum prices were down four per cent to $375,563, Port Alberni/West Coast increased five per cent to $230,958 and the Cowichan Valley declined five per cent to $334,557. In terms of unit sales year to year there was a wide disparity among the different zones last month. Campbell River unit sales for example were down 18 per cent compared to July 2011, while Port Alberni/West Coast unit sales were up a full 53 per cent compared to a year ago. Nanaimo unit sales increased 36 per cent.