The year 2019 marked another change in the Comox real estate market. A total of 179 single family homes were listed in Comox year to date compared to 237 last year. Sales year to date (end of Oct) were 155 compared to 171 the year prior. Overall listings and inventory were down about 24% from last year while sales dropped only by about 9%. A higher percentage of the fewer homes on the market were sold this year compared to last year. With a lower inventory, buyers had less choice but the good homes sold relatively quickly while some of the less attractive homes sat on the market longer. Days to sell, on average rose from 48 to 60 days.
Home prices in Comox started climbing in the spring of 2016 and they rose fairly steadily until they levelled off by late summer of this year. The average and median prices for single family homes at the end of October was near $600K. By comparison, the average and median sales prices for condominiums was about $550K and $625K respectively while patio homes were at about $380K. With sales of all types of residential sales considered, the average prices rose by about 75K over the past year. This strong rise is significant for local residents because not only did prices increase, so did property tax assessments. In contrast, these prices remain attractive to mainland BC buyers.
Sell-to-list ratios varied considerably throughout the past year. In July of 2019 more homes sold than were listed yet in May only 5 of the 22 homes that were listed that month sold. Volatility was a hallmark of 2019 as prices bounced up and down each month along with activity and sales. The overall trend in Comox single family home prices was up from January through the fall when prices started to level off. This price leveling demonstrated that overall demand and the pressure it brings to a small market has dropped and that sellers who are listing above the market are finding this tactic is not working like it did earlier in the year. The number of competing offers has dropped as well.
So where is the market headed? Absent stronger pressure in the early spring from the mainland, prices should continue to level and perhaps correct downward somewhat. How much will be connected to how many listings hit the market early in the year. We should know a lot more about this and other trends by the late February to late March 2020 timeframe. Stay tuned for updates at that time.