Market Minute

Make Mine a Double!

April 1st, 2020

And yes…definitely SHAKEN, not stirred!

The surge in single family house sales for the month of March is phenomenal; up 67%  in the Comox Valley, and 32% in Campbell River. Prices were up too. This is quite remarkable given how marketing efforts were hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, over the past 2 weeks.

With all the theories, directives, opinions, trends, markets, etc, it is fair to say we are in a ‘target rich’ environment as to how each of us processes this paradigm shift.  How will this all play out and when will it end?  Who knows?  For a solid perspective (in my humble opinion) please read Terence Corcoran in the Financial Post –

Numerous financial lifelines are being extended, both by government and the private sector. My biggest concern lies with the falling prime rate and rising mortgage rates. Borrowers are racing to lock in rates, something we have not seen in a while.  I was delighted to hear from a senior lender at one of Canada’s Chartered Banks: “the bottom line is that we are open for business”!  Let us hope that it stays this way. With one million (plus) Canadians filing for Employment Insurance, and a pre-existing debt bubble, it may get worse before it gets better.  Liquidity is going to be critical.

A couple of notes: rental properties are very difficult, if not impossible to market at this time.  On top of everything else, getting VP – vacant possession – may prove to be very difficult.

Appraisers are very busy, as we are considered an Essential Service, under the heading of Capital Markets.

There are a number of appraisal options available:

1 – Desk-Top Appraisal, which as the name suggests is based on a review of data from computerized systems. It provides an estimated value range, within which the subject falls.

2 – Drive-By Appraisal also provides a value range, but is based on a limited ‘Drive By’ inspection.

3 – Finally, there is a Full Appraisal, based on a limited drive by, or exterior inspection.  This provides a specific value estimate based on ‘Extraordinary Assumptions’, typically as to the condition of the interior of the home.  Appraisers rely on a variety of information such as past MLS feature sheets, public records, and information and photos provided by the owner.  This approach is mandated by the Appraisal Institute of Canada in response to the current crisis, and it has been endorsed by most lenders.

Go Figure..!

January 2nd, 2020

The single-family house markets in the Comox Valley and Campbell River showed double digit increases in sales for November and December. The statistics for January, however, point to a 31% decrease in the Comox Valley and a 43% decrease in Campbell River. So….go figure!

Inventory levels remain low. Next month we will highlight some development projects which may ease up the supply side.

We note that there is a downward trend in consumer confidence from a peak in July of 2019. In our view there is pent up demand. Perhaps fatigue from mixed economic signals , with little to choose from is making buyers wary, and very particular.

Positive stats for November house sales.

December 3rd, 2019

In the single family market sector for the Comox Valley and Campbell River the statistics for the month are remarkably similar. Both show increased sales volumes and upward pressure on price. In the Comox Valley, November sales were up 14% to $30 million with a 12% increase in the average price to $619,559 on 49 sales.

In Campbell River, November sales were up 24% compared to last year. The average price was up 13% to $494,320 on 33 sales.

It is noteworthy that the number of active listings/inventory is up in both markets. Coupled with this are modest increases in the days-to-sell for the month of November: 48 days in the Comox Valley and 51 days in Campbell River.

From Kutyn Property Services we wish you all a very merry Christmas!

Similar Trends Prevail

September 3rd, 2019

Once again this month the trends in the Single Family market are similar in the Comox Valley and in Campbell River. Sales volumes are down, but the average price continues to creep up. Again this month there are modest increases in the number of active listings: 284 in the Comox Valley and 130 in Campbell River.

In the condominium sectors, with the exception of apartment condos in the Comox Valley, inventory levels for apartments, patio homes and town houses remain very low. There is a plus side to these low inventory levels in that a number of multi-family developments are currently under way, in Campbell River, Comox and Courtenay.

Comox Valley

August 2019 VIREB stats

Single Family Dwelling Sales

504, down 14% YTD Jan 1 – Aug 31

686, down 19% 12 MTD In the past 12 months

Average Price

$565,351, up 6% average sale price based on 686 sales

Campbell River

August 2019 VIREB stats

Single Family Dwelling Sales

326, down 8% YTD Jan 1 – Aug 31

459, down 17% 12 MTD In the past 12 months

Average Price

$478,202, up 8% average sale price based on 459 sales


“Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.”

William F. Buckley Jr. Author and commentator.

Good News… for some

July 1st, 2019

Over the past five years, one of the major factors  playing havoc with the market was the supply side:  that is to say restricted supply or low inventory. This continues to be an issue in most of the Condominium sectors  in the Comox Valley, but especially in Campbell River.

The 12 month stats for single family markets point to an increase in the average price, but a fall in the dollar volume in sales.  We feel this is due, at least in part, to low inventory.

This month in the Comox Valley market, there is good news for buyers, as the inventory has increased from 234 at this time last year to 302 this year; an increase of 29%. The response from the market for the month of July was a 49% increase in the dollar volume of sales: $51 million in sales this July compared to $34 million in July 2018. There was a 34% increase in the inventory of Single Family houses in Campbell River to 138.  This is a move in the right direction, but in July 2015 there were 283 active listings.

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