Starting in the fall of 2015 the Comox real estate market started a steady climb. Prices moved upward throughout the next three years with a small blip in the fall of 2017. Sales numbers dropped off a bit because listings and inventory both fell as the prices moved upwards. So, what is next for the real estate market in this small seaside town of about 16,000 people?
In January 2019, there were 11 single family homes listed and 9 sales. The average sell price was just over $571,000 with a median sell price of just over $525,000. A year prior there were 21 listings and only 7 sales in the same month. While the average sale price was higher than it was in December 2018, the median price was the same. Both were down from the peak prices of November 2018.
When one takes a look at the broader Comox homes market and includes other types of home such as condos, there were 23 listings and 19 sales compared to 22 and 26 from the year prior. The overall sales volume was also down slightly and the list to sell ratio dropped slightly and the number of days to sell went up. Overall inventory was down.
Some softening in the market was evident based on the number of sales for the time of year despite the fact that total inventory was down. It is too early to tell if this potential trend will extend into the buying season as we approach the end of February. What is clear, however, is that one source of buyers may be changing a bit. Home buyers from the mainland are starting to see their crazy prices come down a bit and homes are sitting on their market longer than before. People who must sell in those markets before buying in this market are less wiling to buy before their home sells than they were last year. An increase in interest rates will only exacerbate the snapshot being observed as softer market trends.
Of the 19 homes that sold what type were they? The 9 single family homes included a character home, six rancher style homes, and two homes with the main living area on the second floor. The other sales included a waterfront home, six condos, a patio home, a townhome, and an acreage. Clearly, based on this month, rancher style homes and condos were among the most popular home buyer choices. This is not surprising as more and more people continue to relocate here from the BC mainland.
Looking ahead expect to see prices moderate, sales continue to be down from the peaks of a few years ago and choices to remain more limited than they have been in the past.