The Comox real estate market took off in 2017 with prices starting to climb at unprecedented rates early in the year. Home prices were fairly flat throughout 2015 and there was a noticeable upward trend in the middle of 2016. This climb was sustained throughout 2017 and prices spiked in July with another similar spike in October. Single family homes in Comox hit a median sell price of $574,900 in October and the average price that month hit a high of 581,785. A year prior the numbers were closer to $450,000.
One of the most interesting statistics for October 2017 was the sell to list ratio of 133% meaning that more homes sold than were listed that month. A low supply of listings was persistent throughout the year and this factor was one of the contributing reasons why prices have done what they have. There just have not been enough new listings to sustain a healthy neutral market.
Besides increasing prices and a low and shrinking supply, the number of days to sell a home has dropped as well. Unfortunately this has resulted in many competing offer situations for home buyers who end up paying even more to buy a home that others also bid on.
Another factor that drove up prices is the tendency by people who live in the craziness of the mainland area to relocate here. Why put up with insane home and property prices when you can move here and buy much more for less than you are used to? The spill off effect is that is makes homes more unaffordable for local families.
The multiple changes to mortgage rules in Canada has not helped this situation one bit as the Trudeau government keeps making it harder for families to qualify for mortgages. Funny how the government wants us to get our financial house in order yet they continue to spend at a historic rate and rack up yearly deficits and the annual debt at an alarming rate. This habit will adversely affect us all in the longer term as more tax dollars are spent to pay the interest on all of this borrowed money and there will be less money for needed programs in the country.
So is there any good news for 2018? It depends. It depends on whether or not the record low interest rates stay low and whether or not the number of new listings increases. It also depends on whether or not the provincial and federal governments keep tax hikes in check. Neither so far has shown that they will. Tax hikes by the NDP coalition government in BC and the Trudeau government with things such as the job killing Trudeau carbon tax will hit us all in the pocket books and the result will be that we all have less money to spend on things like food and homes. Hold on in 2018 for it could be a bumpy ride.