Stats indicate active summer sales season

MLS data shows housing sales activity recorded little change on Vancouver Island last month as compared to a year ago.

Multiple Listing Service sales summary data released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board shows housing sales activity recorded little change last month as compared to a year ago. Across VIREB’s coverage area in May average sales prices edged downward four per cent since May, 2011. The average sales price for a single family home sold in May was $343,662. Last May it was $356,450.

The number of unit sales on a year-to-year basis increased just one per cent. Last May, 414 single family homes were sold. This May was 418.

There was also a modest increase (nearly seven per cent) in the number of homes listed last month.

“There is certainly continuity in the number of units sold and in the prices received right across the region,” said VIREB president Guy Bezeau. “There is also sign the lower end of the market has become more active, which when coupled with phenomenal interest rates and government incentives suggests an increased interest in home ownership from  first-time buyers.”

As of the end of May, there were 3,328 single family homes available, up from the 3,116 homes in the system at the end of May, 2011. Last month, there were 1,021 homes listed on the MLS system, up 12 per cent from the 908 homes listed last May, indicating sellers are anticipating an active sales season during the summer months.

“When you look at the housing inventory you can see that there is quite literally something for everyone,” Bezeau said. “There has been gradual growth in sales activity in the first five months of this year and every indication suggests that this gentle increase in activity will continue as the year progresses. Last month also shows how dramatically a small number of sales can skew the statistics, especially in the smaller markets. The Port Alberni/West Coast zone reported a 35 per cent jump in sales last month, but that only involved seven additional houses. Always check with your local realtor to receive an accurate picture of your immediate market.”

Comparing May 2012 to May 2011, the average sale prices across VIREB’s six zones saw: Campbell River increase six per cent to $306,908, the Comox Valley dipped one per cent to $361,537, Nanaimo was down eight per cent to $349,554 from the May 2011 price of $379,410, Parksville/Qualicum was down one per cent to $414,944, Port Alberni/West Coast dropped 13 per cent to $202,256 and the Cowichan Valley increased eight per cent to $358,475. Contact a realtor for interpretation of trends or an examination of factors that could be affecting your area.