Housing inventory running low in the Comox Valley

The Comox Valley’s running out of houses.

Local realtors are selling 100 houses a month right now, and there are only 218 houses for sale.

“If no more product is added to the supply, then by September we will have no houses or townhouses to sell and just a smattering of apartment condos,” said Marty Douglas, Managing Broker, RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty, in his monthly report.

As a result there is no buyer relief in sight – competing offers and homes being sold above the asking price will continue.

“Great for sellers. Buyers from Vancouver and Victoria will overpower local buyers with their equity advantage.

“Tenants too will be affected as local landlords recognize the opportunity to cash in their investment.” Douglas said.

The 12-month average sale price of a Valley home is $458,393, up 18 per cent from last year.

And here’s a shocking statistic: If you bought an average home in Cumberland in 2007 you paid $264,572. Today’s price is $512,698.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board reports that in June, 621 single-family properties sold, compared to 712 last June, a decrease of 13 per cent.

Inventory of homes for sale decreased, too, by 20 per cent.

“Demand continues to exceed supply, with well-priced properties quickly selling once they hit the market,” said Janice Stromar, VIREB President in the June report.

“We’ve been in a sellers’ market for months now, and buyers are snapping up available properties.

“Multiple offers are commonplace, which is frustrating for buyers and their agents,” she said.

In June, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area (north of the Malahat) rose to $444,500, up 18 per cent from one year ago.

Prices increased in every zone, ranging from 15 per cent in Parksville-Qualicum to 21 per cent in the Comox Valley.

The benchmark price of an apartment condo in June rose 28 per cent board-wide from the previous year, with Comox Valley posting an increase of 42 per cent. Townhouses also registered big price increases, from 24 per cent board-wide, to 40 per cent in the Valley.

Cheapest place to buy a home north of the Malahat? Port Alberni, with a benchmark home price of $241,600, which is still up 20 per cent from a year ago.

Here are other communities’ prices:

* Duncan, $403,400

* Nanaimo, $479,300

* Parksville-Qualicum, $497,600

* Campbell River, $348,500

Economist Brendan Ogmundson of the British Columbia Real Estate Association affirms that strong economic fundamentals continue to fuel housing demand in the province.

“A healthy provincial job market, low interest rates, and consumer confidence are all contributing to robust housing demand throughout most of British Columbia,” he said. “BCREA expects the provincial economy to grow by 3.3 per cent this year, which will likely be the highest in Canada.”