Back in 2015 few people forecast or even anticipated the change and movement in the real estate markets of Courtenay East and Comox that have been experienced since then. While it is fair to say that these market areas have continued to climb a number of specific changes have not been common.
Courtenay East is located to the east of the Courtenay River and it comprises a number of family-oriented neighbourhoods both large and small. At the beginning of 2017 single family home prices were hovering around the $450,000 level. A slow steady rise in prices was experienced throughout the spring and summer. A slight drop was experienced just before the school year started and there was a spike in prices the late fall. The median price in March was over $500,000. As the year progressed consumer choice began to drop off with fewer listings hitting the market.
Crown Isle, a suburb of Courtenay East, experienced similar but different changes. There was a steady increase in home prices from the spring through the summer, a bit of a drop off near fall and a more rapid climb through March 2018. The number of new listings in Crown Isle was down considerably from a more normal year. The entry level for a single-family home started around the $600,000 level at the beginning of the year and it stated to approach the $700,000 level near the end. Because of the limited number of sales in some months, it was necessary to view statistics with a longer-term perspective and to use trends and weighted averages with care. The bottom line, however, is that the market has gone up and consumer choice has been quite limited.
Now let’s focus on the Town of Comox. This seaside community started experiencing an upward trend in home prices in 2016 when the median price of a single-family home hovered around $350,000. Just two years later the median price had risen to more than $500,000. Clearly many people moving into the area saw the charm of this small town as alluring and took the plunge into the real estate market. Once again, the number of homes coming onto the market has been limited and when good ones do come on they often do not last long.
Over the past couple of years, the federal government has made it more difficult for home buyers to qualify for and to obtain mortgages. By some metrics it has become about 20% more difficult for many families. The end result is that fewer people are getting mortgages and there are more offers collapsing due to financing. If you are thinking of buying a home in any of these climbing market areas a recent mortgage pre-approval is a good plan to avoid disappointment.