Rising inventory a hopeful sign for buyers

Inventory in the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) area rose significantly last month, with listings of single-family homes more than doubling from June 2021. At the same time, sales dipped across the board area in most markets.

Last month, active listings of single-family homes (not acreage or waterfront) climbed by 107 per cent from June 2021 and 23 per cent from May 2022, reaching 1,204. VIREB’s inventory of condo apartments was 295 in June, 43 per cent higher than one year ago and up by 28 per cent from May. There were 222 row/townhouses for sale in June, a 60 per cent year-over-year increase and up by 32 per cent from May.

The additional inventory is a positive development for buyers, providing more options and easing the pressure to move too quickly when making an offer. Higher interest rates are causing some buyers to put the brakes on purchasing a home, and REALTORS® are seeing price reductions in the higher end of the market. However, it is too early to speculate whether VIREB’s housing market is moving towards a buyers’ or balanced market.

“While we’re happy to see more listings coming onto the system, that doesn’t change the conversations we’re having with stakeholders regarding supply,” says Erica Kavanaugh, 2022 VIREB President. “Vancouver Island has had historically low inventory for many months now, so unless demand drops significantly, it will take a lot of new housing stock to create a balanced market.”

Kavanaugh adds that if consumers are struggling with timing around whether to buy or sell in the current market, the advice of a local REALTOR® can be beneficial. REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities and are equipped with sales tools, such as custom analytics, to help you develop a winning strategy for buying or selling a home.

By category, there were 408 single-family-home sales in June, a 23 per cent decrease from one year ago and down by 10 per cent from May. There were 82 condo apartment sales last month, a decline of 37 per cent year over year and down by 11 per cent from May. In the row/townhouse category, 68 units changed hands in June, down 11 per cent from one year ago and 34 per cent from May 2022.

Notwithstanding higher inventory and lower sales, prices continue to rise throughout the VIREB area. The board-wide benchmark price of a single-family home reached $865,600 in June, up 26 per cent year over year. In the apartment category, the benchmark price hit $452,600 last month, a 32 per cent increase from June 2021. The benchmark price of a townhouse increased by 25 per cent, climbing to $618,900 in June. 

In Campbell River, the benchmark price of a single-family home hit $761,800 in June, up by 24 per cent from the previous year. In the Comox Valley, the year-over-year benchmark price rose by 22 per cent to $911,700. The Cowichan Valley reported a benchmark price of $884,400, an increase of 31 per cent from June 2021. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose by 26 per cent, reaching $906,300, while the Parksville- Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 24 per cent to $988,100. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $624,700, up 36 per cent from the previous year. For the North Island, the benchmark price of a single-family home rose by 34 per cent to $478,000. Some regions in the VIREB area saw small month-over-month price reductions in June, including Campbell River, the Cowichan Valley, and Parksville-Qualicum.

Real estate prices and inventory continue to rise

Inventory in the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) area rose significantly last month, with listings of single-family homes more than doubling from June 2021. At the same time, sales dipped across the board area in most markets.

Last month, active listings of single-family homes (not acreage or waterfront) climbed by 107 per cent from June 2021 and 23 per cent from May 2022, reaching 1,204. VIREB’s inventory of condo apartments was 295 in June, 43 per cent higher than one year ago and up by 28 per cent from May. There were 222 row/townhouses for sale in June, a 60 per cent year-over-year increase and up by 32 per cent from May.

The additional inventory is a positive development for buyers, providing more options and easing the pressure to move too quickly when making an offer. Higher interest rates are causing some buyers to put the brakes on purchasing a home, and REALTORS® are seeing price reductions in the higher end of the market. However, it is too early to speculate whether VIREB’s housing market is moving towards a buyers’ or balanced market.

“While we’re happy to see more listings coming onto the system, that doesn’t change the conversations we’re having with stakeholders regarding supply,” says Erica Kavanaugh, 2022 VIREB President. “Vancouver Island has had historically low inventory for many months now, so unless demand drops significantly, it will take a lot of new housing stock to create a balanced market.”

Kavanaugh adds that if consumers are struggling with timing around whether to buy or sell in the current market, the advice of a local REALTOR® can be beneficial. REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities and are equipped with sales tools, such as custom analytics, to help you develop a winning strategy for buying or selling a home.

By category, there were 408 single-family-home sales in June, a 23 per cent decrease from one year ago and down by 10 per cent from May. There were 82 condo apartment sales last month, a decline of 37 per cent year over year and down by 11 per cent from May. In the row/townhouse category, 68 units changed hands in June, down 11 per cent from one year ago and 34 per cent from May 2022.

Notwithstanding higher inventory and lower sales, prices continue to rise throughout the VIREB area. The board-wide benchmark price of a single-family home reached $865,600 in June, up 26 per cent year over year. In the apartment category, the benchmark price hit $452,600 last month, a 32 per cent increase from June 2021. The benchmark price of a townhouse increased by 25 per cent, climbing to $618,900 in June.

In Campbell River, the benchmark price of a single-family home hit $761,800 in June, up by 24 per cent from the previous year. In the Comox Valley, the year-over-year benchmark price rose by 22 per cent to $911,700. The Cowichan Valley reported a benchmark price of $884,400, an increase of 31 per cent from June 2021. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose by 26 per cent, reaching $906,300, while the Parksville- Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 24 per cent to $988,100. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $624,700, up 36 per cent from the previous year. For the North Island, the benchmark price of a single-family home rose by 34 per cent to $478,000. Some regions in the VIREB area saw small month-over-month price reductions in June, including Campbell River, the Cowichan Valley, and Parksville-Qualicum.