Construction values dip slightly

Appraiser says inventory is key

Compared to last year, construction values in the Comox Valley had increased in the first quarter of 2019, but dipped 2.75 per cent over the first two quarters, according to Building Links.

However, the publication says statistics continue to show a ‘robust local construction industry.’ Comparing the first two quarters over the past four years, construction values were $80.5 million in 2016, $94.9 million in 2017, $145.8 million in 2018 and $142 million this year.

Appraiser Chris Kutyn feels a small drop in building values since last year is almost irrelevant compared to the increase from 2017 to 2018.

“My initial reaction is that there is, as a result, more on the market to choose from, and this is a good thing. Good for buyers and sellers,” said Kutyn, owner of Kutyn Property Services in Comox.

Compared to 2018, Cumberland and Comox have experienced a decline in single family and secondary dwellings at 41 per cent and 46 per cent respectively.

The number of multi-family (five-plus) units has decreased from 208 in the first two quarters of 2018, to 85 units so far this year. The number of duplexes to fourplexes rose from 70 to 101 units.

“In my opinion, a big problem has been inventory – low inventory,” Kutyn said. “This has started to improve in the single family section, and there are a number of large multi-family projects underway.

“Especially below $600,000, it was a buyer’s market,” he added. “But the market overheated, and we faced resistance on price. This was coupled with low inventory, so there was a bit of grid lock.

“So, some sellers might get lucky and get a very good price, but overall not a good situation. With more inventory comes a more balanced market.”

He notes the Comox Valley has a serious affordability problem, which should be helped by a larger inventory.

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