Market Minute

The Water Front Market, Is It Worth It?

October 2nd, 2017

Every market sector has its own characteristics. Water front property is no exception. Owning water front property is prestigious, making it sought after for those who can afford it. But is it worth it?

Sales of water front houses in the Comox Valley over the past 12 months have declined 27% from $44 million last year to $32 million this year. However, the average price has increased 19% from $638,812 to $762,079.

Sales of water front houses in Campbell River over the past 12 months have declined 11% from $10.3 million last year to $9.2 million this year. However, the average price has increased 40% from $543,979 to $762,500.

Currently, the average price of a non-waterfront house has increased 20% in the Comox Valley and 17% in Campbell River. It appears that the price increase for water front houses is out performing its non-waterfront counterpart!

Tanned and Healthy Looking… Why Thank You!

September 1st, 2017

It is September, and where did the summer go?  For many in the real estate industry, the pace has been torrid. For every story I hear of a price reduction, there are two opportunities to have a wrestling match in a multiple offer situation. Oh Joy!

A broad overview of a few of the lead indicators suggests that it has been a good Summer in the Comox Valley and in Campbell River.  Average single-family house prices are up 18% and 16% respectively.  Apartment condos prices are up 19% and 27%.

We have highlighted concerns about low inventory levels and, partly as a result, the Days to Sell for the Comox Valley stands at 26 days, and 28 days for Campbell River. If you list your property, you better be ready to start packing.

In my view, The Village of Cumberland is poised to do an ‘end run’. The sale of the ‘Trilogy Lands’ (+/- 750 acres at or close to the highway interchange) has closed. The Village has another ace up its sleeve, with hundreds of acres within the municipality for ongoing residential development. The main drag is vibrant, and I hear the pizza at Riders is awesome.

The Money Takes a Ferry Ride

July 3rd, 2017

A recent study indicated that over 30% of the buyer group in the Comox Valley comes from the lower mainland. The active, even aggressive feeding frenzy continues. Competing interest on listings is still common place, with initial offers often above the asking price. In one case, an offer was $60,000 over the  list price, received  from a buyer who had been ‘left at the altar’ on two previous attempts.

In both market sectors, the Days to Sell continues to fall; down 55% in the Comox Valley to 19 days.  In Campbell River, the Days to Sell is down 20% to 44 days.

Finding a buyer is the easy part, getting the best possible price may require a little assistance.  This is especially important if you must sell and then buy in the same market. 

When we track private sales on Craig’s list or other means, two things seem clear. Some people beat the system and get great buys. Others, thinking they have beat the system, often pay over the odds.

This is the most dynamic market I have experienced in my 30 years in real estate appraisal. If you are thinking of selling, a good Realtor is essential, and can often more than pay for themselves.

A Tale of Two Cities…

June 1st, 2017

In its day, Dickens’ classic was a best seller. There may still be some lessons to learn from his genius. I will leave his European comparisons for another time, but today I would like to consider the high cost of Regulation.  In 2018, the Comox Valley will celebrate ten years since the adoption of the Regional Growth Strategy. Thus far, Campbell River has avoided this additional layer of regulation.

We have highlighted the issue of low inventory levels, and have documented the strong upward pressure on price.  Again, this month, the upward pressure continues. At a recent council meeting of the Town of Comox, an 18 lot subdivision was approved. A reliable source told me that this is the first subdivision to be approved in three years.

The average lot price in the Comox Valley is $214,801, compared to the level of  $141,358 for Campbell River. The average house price in the Comox Valley is $443,930. In Campbell River, the average price is $365,526. These differences beg three questions……What is the cost of Regulation? Is the tail wagging the dog? For all the talk of ‘affordability’, is an average lot price of over $200,000 really necessary?

Well Guess What…

May 1st, 2017

Prices are up again.


The law of supply and demand is perhaps the simplest economic concept to understand.

The market continues at a torrid pace, but across most sectors, inventories are down; approximately 50% from levels at this time last year.  Prices have only one way to go…..up, up and up!


The average single family lot price in the Comox Valley pushed past the $200,000 mark to $201,006 on 66 sales in the past 12 months.  This makes Campbell River look like a bargain at $139,605.

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