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  • Writer's pictureDave Hall

Vancouver Island Market - February 2023

Sales of single-family homes in the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) area decreased by 37% from 350 to 220 homes sold in February 2023 compared to one year ago. However, sales increased by 33% from January 2023 when 165 homes were sold. Sales of condo apartments declined by 40% YoY, with only 64 units sold in February 2023, but increased by 52% from January 2023. Meanwhile, row/townhouse sales decreased by 44% YoY, with only 50 units sold in February 2023 but increased by 39% from January 2023.

Although inventory posted gains, it remains below the ideal level for a balanced market. There were 937 active listings of single-family homes in February, up from 345 one year ago and 861 in January. In the same period, VIREB's inventory of condo apartments increased from 116 listings to 253 listings, and row/townhouses for sale increased from 66 to 251.

According to Kelly O’Dwyer, the 2023 Chair, the market is more price-sensitive than it has been in some time, and buyers are savvy and unwilling to stretch their budget by more than they can comfortably afford. O'Dwyer also noted that listings have increased but are still low compared to historical levels, and weak inventory will put more pressure on prices when demand increases.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) predicts that the slowing economy and still-elevated mortgage rates will keep housing activity lower than usual throughout much of 2023. However, BCREA expects a strong recovery boosted by an expected decline in mortgage rates and record-high immigration that will carry significant momentum into 2024.

In February 2023, the board-wide benchmark price (MLS® Home Price Index) of a single-family home was $732,500, which is down 8% from one year ago, and the benchmark price of a townhouse was $560,800, down 2% from one year ago. The benchmark price of an apartment was $398,800, down 1% from February 2022. The average prices in February were $783,746 (single-family), $370,734 (apartment), and $528,622 (townhouse), while median prices were $742,500 (single-family), $359,000 (apartment), and $501,000 (townhouse).

In Campbell River, the benchmark price of a single-family home was $652,600 in February, down 6% from the previous year, and the Comox Valley's year-over-year benchmark price dropped by 3% to $789,600. The Cowichan Valley's benchmark price decreased by 7% to $738,200 in February 2023 compared to one year ago. Nanaimo's year-over-year benchmark price dropped by 11% to $750,500, and the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price drop by 8% to $848,100. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni was $516,500, down 12% from the previous year. For the North Island, the benchmark price of a single-family home decreased by 3% to $414,700.

All statistics and information are provided by VIREB.


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