Prices in the neighbouring town of Comox started to see an increase in prices in the fall of 2015 while the high-end subdivision of Crown Isle located in Courtenay East experienced the same trend in the fall of 2017. Prices have moved upward in Courtenay over the past couple of years but sales have tapered off over the past few months. In 2018, a total of 455 homes sold in the City of Courtenay. Most of these were located in Courtenay East (35%) and the downtown part of Courtenay (36%). So, what is next for the real estate market in this upscale subdivision of Courtenay?
In January 2019, there were 18 new listings and 9 sales in the downtown part of Courtenay. A year prior there were 12 new listings and 15 sales. In Courtenay East there were 14 new listings and 6 sales. The year prior there were 13 and 8. The average sale price in the downtown part of Courtenay was about $515,000 and in Courtenay East about $462,000. These prices are roughly comparable to November 2018. The largest difference from last year was experienced in the downtown area. It is too early to speculate on prices but sales volume has softened and prices could also follow if this trend continues.
When one takes a look at the broader Courtenay homes market over the course of 2018 there were 18 sales in January. There were 9 in the downtown area, 6 in East Courtenay, 1 in the West, 2 in the South and none in the north. What is striking is that the list to sell ratio was at or below 50% in four of the five parts of Courtenay. This means than about one-half of the homes listed did not sell. It also took longer to sell many of the homes and the increase ranged from about 30% longer to 85% longer in three of the five areas.
Some softening in the market was evident based on the reduced number of sales. If this trend continues into February and March, the City of Courtenay could see prices also soften. Much of what happens will depend on how many buyers move here from the mainland where our local prices continue to represent a bargain compared to what they are paying for a similar home. Having said this, local buyers may be dissuaded from buying if there interest rates rise because of the increase in local homes prices over the past couple of years and changes to mortgage rules that have made it harder for the average person to qualify for a mortgage.
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.