Local buyers dominate Comox Valley market

Local buyers continue to dominate the Comox Valley real estate market.

In a review of sales files since the beginning of the year, RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty managing broker Marty Douglas made an interesting observation about B.C.’s neighbouring province.

“Despite concerns about the future price of oil, Alberta continues to provide one in five of our out-of-town buyers.”

More than 20 per cent of 400-plus buyers surveyed responded to a series of questions about their origin, purpose and motivation, in the case of out-of-town buyers, for selecting the Comox Valley.

“Sixty per cent of all buyers were already resident in the Comox Valley. Their purpose in buying was primarily to downsize (28 per cent) reflecting the empty-nesting baby boomer,” said Douglas.

First-time buyers followed at 26 per cent, then upsizing and investment with 19 per cent each, followed by retirement at six per cent.

Out-of-town buyers are firstly from the rest of Vancouver Island (26 per cent), then Alberta and the Lower Mainland (20 per cent each), followed by Ontario and Quebec (14 per cent) and the Maritimes (nine per cent). The strength of the American dollar may have influenced the six per cent of buyers from the U.S.

Out-of-town buyers came here to retire (33 per cent), some buying smaller homes (18 per cent), some larger (15 per cent). First time buyers (12 per cent) equalled those who came here for employment while only nine per cent were purchasing a vacation or investment home.

Why the Comox Valley?

“No surprise here,” said Douglas. “Lifestyle (40 per cent) followed by family ties (19 per cent).”

Other important motivations were work and affordability (11 per cent each) and military relocation (eight per cent), while YQQ continues to be a factor in the decision-making process of four per cent of buyers.

“Sellers should also know how out-of-town buyers find their Realtor,” said Douglas. “It’s not through print advertising.”

Friends and family referred four out of 10 buyers to RE/MAX, followed by For Sale signs, websites, office locations, Realtor referrals and open houses.

“In summary, the composite Comox Valley buyer is here now, buying a smaller home for retirement. Based on current MLS sales, their first choice for that home is a single family dwelling (73 per cent), apartment condo (13 per cent), patio home (eight per cent) or townhouse (six per cent).”

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