Real estate cools, but still strong

July sales dip from previous month, but remain well above same period for 2014

  • Aug. 6, 2015 8:00 p.m.

Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s (VIREB) robust spring and summer housing market cooled slightly in July but was still significantly stronger than one year ago.

Last month, 515 single-family homes sold on the MLS system compared to 636 in June 2015, a decrease of 19 per cent. However, year-over-year sales rose by 13 per cent from July 2014. Inventory levels continue to decline, with active listings down 14 per cent since last July.

BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir states that although experts are predicting a “technical recession” for Canada, B.C.’s economy continues to lead the country and shows no signs of slowing down. The province’s gross domestic product (GDP) is holding at between 2.0 and 2.3 per cent.

“Low interest rates and high consumer confidence continue to drive housing sales throughout the province,” says Muir. “Waning inventory is also accelerating activity in many markets.”

In July 2015, the benchmark price for a single-family home in the VIREB coverage area was $338,700, up approximately five per cent from 2014. Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area. The average price of a single-family home was $364,277 compared to $346,811 in July 2014, an increase of five per cent.

The July 2015 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $285,500, an increase of 5.22 per cent from last year. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $335,200, up 1.77 per cent from 2014. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 5.88 per cent to $354,700 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price rise by 5.89 per cent to $375,500.