Housing market quiets down with inventory up as end of year gets near: VIREB

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It seems fewer people are buying a house at the moment but more people are putting their homes up for sale.

The latest report from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) finds active listings for detached single-family homes have tripled since October last year. That means a total of 1,360 homes for sale, but that is a four per cent decrease from September.

Nearly 250 homes were sold last month in the area, reflecting a 37 per cent decrease from a year ago and up three per cent from September.

The benchmark price of a home has also dropped since September, with the board finding the price at $787,500 in October. That represents an eight per cent increase from a year ago, but it is down four per cent from September.

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The news is welcomed by the board. Chair Erica Kavanaugh says now is a better time to be looking into the market.

“More inventory and weaker demand mean it’s a perfect time to buy. Well-priced and well-maintained properties are still generating multiple offers and selling briskly, but the market has shifted from the heated conditions REALTORS® saw for much of the year,” said Kavanaugh.

However, Kavanaugh adds while the market appears to be leveling out, underlying supply issues are still contributing to low inventory and high prices.

They say the benchmark price for single-family homes decreased in every zone except for the North Island, but prices are still higher than in 2021.

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A benchmark price breakdown for October follows:

  • Campbell River: $679,300, up four per cent from 2021
  • Comox Valley: $829,800, up seven per cent from 2021
  • Cowichan Valley: $804,500, up nine per cent from 2021
  • Nanaimo: $811,200, up nine per cent from 2021
  • North Island: $488,000, up 20 per cent from 2021

VIREB adds there has been a decrease in active listings every year since 2013, when there were 2,362 active listings.

The board says it will take a large decrease in demand or a significant increase in supply to achieve healthy inventory levels.