Posted on December 10th, 2016 at 7:35 pm
Peter Lynch, the legendary fund manager, once said “know what you own, and know why you own it.”
If you’re a homeowner in the Parksville, Qualicum Beach, or Nanaimo areas, you know you own a house in a seller’s market. The biggest reason? An unprecedented lack of supply. There are virtually no single family homes available, and buyers from the lower mainland and other provinces are lining up to compete over anything that comes on the market. In October 2016, the number of active single-family home listings dipped to the lowest number ever recorded by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB). In fact, according to VIREB, the average year-over-year sale price in the Nanaimo, Parksville, and Qualicum areas increased by 18% in some areas while total sales dropped by as much as 15% thanks to limited supply.
To a homeowner that all sounds great, and you’re probably tempted to postpone selling, but experts are beginning to predict an end to the boom times. If you’ve been looking at downsizing, or you’ve been planning a move, this is the time to capture the value in your home. Why now? The lack of supply that has been driving home prices higher is showing signs of going away. In Nanaimo, political pressure on foreign buyers through stricter mortgage laws and increased taxes are already starting to reduce foreign demand for houses. More government intervention is on the way, so this trend is set to accelerate. In Parksville and Qualicum Beach, the supply of homes is set to increase as the large retirement age population starts to sell. (At 64, Qualicum Beach has one of the highest median ages in Canada and Parksville isn’t far behind at 60.)
As foreign buyers move out of the market, and retirees start to cash out, the sellers market will start to turn into a buyers market. Jason Finlayson, the former President of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB), has already noticed this trend. “Sellers are in the driver’s seat right now, but consumers need to realize that sellers’ markets don’t last forever. If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, now is the time.” The 2015 VIREB Typical Buyer Profile shows that almost 40% of typical buyers have lived in the same community for over 20 years, and 35% come from the same area they’re buying in. Over 94% of typical buyers purchased their home for use as their principal residence, and over 85% had purchased a principal residence in the past. These figures indicate that demand is now being driven by working families looking to move into their nearby dream homes. As foreign buying slows, and more retirees start to downsize, it won’t take long before these buyers are spoiled for choice and home prices will start to fall.
As prices start to fall, first time homebuyers can usually be expected to keep overall demand high, but new government mortgage rules make it much harder for first time homebuyers to afford the prices around Nanaimo, Parksville, and Qualicum Beach. This is more good news for the typical buyer described by VIREB: Over 60% of them had the cash available to make the full down payment without tapping into their registered savings plans. Government efforts to increase housing starts and build beautiful, purpose-built senior living facilities promise to add even more supply to the market.
So, whether you’ve been dreaming of downsizing to a beautiful condo with no roof to fix or water heater to worry about, or you’ve been looking to make the leap to somewhere sunny, now is the time to get out on top and let the value of your home start working for you. If you’re interested in listing, the McPherson group has the experience you need to get top dollar for your current property. We’ll also work closely with you to find a new home that’s your perfect fit, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. Contact us today!