I am preparing for my quarterly newsletter, which means pulling stats and looking at the numbers. Something odd, and unexpected came up, which is summarised nicely by this release from BCREA. Demand is down, as noted in this release. Here on the Island, compared to March of 2017, we are down about 18%, though March 2017 was a very strong year. Yet, and this is what surprised me, inventory levels have gone down further since December.
In December, after the rush of sales getting in before the new mortgage rules came into effect, we were at 46.9% inventory levels (based on the average from 2008 to 2017) for the VIREB area and 52.3% for the Comox Valley. In March the numbers are 45.5% for the Board area and 43.3% for the Comox Valley.
These graphs show how current inventory levels (active listings) are below the 10 year average.
While the government's strategy of lowering demand is somewhat working, our supply has not gone up. March is early in the year and most times new listings do not come to any significant degree until April or May. Hopefully that will happen again this year. Until our inventory levels get up some, I believe there will be increased pressure on prices, despite the reduction in sales.
For March, over the last 12 months, prices for single family homes has gone up 15% for the board area and 18% for the Comox Valley.