If you didn't pick up a copy of the Times Colonist today, you missed a great news story that outlines what each of our municipalities are planning for the coming year.
You could argue that the widely varying priorities is why we need amalgamation. Or, you could say that this is what gives each area its local flavour. Either way, this is a great article to read no matter where you live.
As 2011 winds down, we would like to wish you and your family a quiet, safe, and happy holiday season as well as the best for the new year. If 2011 was good to you, we hope that you enjoy the same in the coming year. If 2012 was less than stellar, we hope that you find what you looking for in 2012. The good news is that nothing is permanent, and no matter what happened in the past, the future is always a new opportunity.
This is always a time of renewal in the real estate market. Over the next week, listings for properties for sale will likely reach their low point of the year. In January, as we all get back to work, you can expect a fresh crop of properties available for purchase along with the hopes and dreams tied to them. Even though we have had some devaluation over the last nine months, I am looking for some price stability in the months ahead. Since Spring often seems to be the time of the year that most people choose to move, we can expect to see increasing demand which often supports the market, even when inventory is growing as well. Of course, I don’t have a crystal ball, but I think that we are more likely to see a stable market then a dropping or rising market. But, only time will tell.
Over the last 30 days, 192 single family houses were sold, down by 25 houses from last week. The median price is up $13,450 to $539,950. The average house was on the market for 60 days. In the same time period, 98 condos were sold, up by 4 condos from last week. The median price is down $16,500 to $271,000. The average condo was on the market for 55 days.
There are now 1,597 houses for sale, down by 42 from last week. Condo inventory has fallen by 24 to 882 suites.
Down at Fisherman's Wharf you can find an eclectic and very green community of float home owners. Life couldn't be better right? Well, for the last several years their existence has been in question as their long term moorage was in question. That's all in the past now! If you are looking for a different way to live, but still want to be quite urban, this could be the ideal solution for you.
At this time of year it is to be expected that fewer homes will change hands. Most people, if they have the choice, are focusing on their families and are not out house hunting. But, if you do have your property on the market over Christmas, and you do get a showing, treat it with the utmost seriousness. I have found that buyers house hunting at this time of year are pretty darn serious, otherwise they would not be out there.
Because of the lower sales volume, the results can be skewed up or down more easily. For example, this week it looks like the prices of single family homes have dropped again. We’ve seen a softening trend for some months now so another drop is possible, but I’m going to try and not read as much into it with the current reduced volume. But, no matter how we analyze things, prices are about 5% lower now than they were at the same time last year. Seller’s need to take this into account or they will have a very difficult time finding a buyer for their property.
One point I would like to make is that inventory remains very high as we approach the end of December. Levels are currently 25% higher than they were at the same point last year. For buyers this ensures lots of choice. The opposite is true for sellers as this means increased competition. But, for sellers, there is a little nugget of good news hidden in there. Most of the older listings are simply overpriced and will not sell. This group of unsuccessful sellers have not taken into account the softening prices which means that each week their properties become a little less attractive to buyers. Most of the sales that we are seeing are newer listings from savvy sellers who understand the current market, and work with their Realtor to correctly price their property. Even though this is typically the quietest time of the year, there are still many properties of all types selling – as long as they are priced well. As a seller, it is your choice!
Over the last 30 days, 217 single family houses were sold, down by 18 houses from last week. The median price is down $13,500 to $526,500. The average house was on the market for 53 days.