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Real estate expert says spring housing market feels like more like pre-COVID conditions

Home sales are up and prices are down from May 2022.

That according to the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s update for the month of May 2023.

While the year-over-year home price dropped, the Island average is actually up 12 per cent from last month. This as the market was hotter with volume of sales up 12 per cent from April – with 488 single-family homes sold north of the Malahat.

VIREB Chair Kelly O’Dwyer says the market is starting to feel more pre-pandemic.

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“We’re seeing smartly priced homes and measured offers compared to last year, when the fear of
missing out created a frenetic market,” says O’Dwyer. “It feels more reminiscent of a traditional pre-COVID spring.”

Across the island, prices of homes decreased 11 per cent, to an average of $751,200. Market-specific benchmark prices were affected as follows.

  • Campbell River prices dropped 12 percent to $646,500.
  • Comox Valley prices dropped 10 percent to $802,000.
  • Cowichan Valley prices dropped 13 percent to $758,900.
  • Nanaimo prices dropped 12 percent to $777,200.
  • North Island prices dropped five percent to $435,100.

Benchmark prices for condos/apartments were $392,800, which is a year-over-year decrease of eight per cent, and a one per cent increase from last month. As for townhouses, the benchmark was $547,800. That’s down nine per cent year over year and up two per cent month-to-month.

O’Dwyer says the Island’s lack of housing supply is still the main issue affecting sales. She says the dearth of
inventory continues to be a roadblock for potential buyers, but she’s encouraged by the province’s efforts in that area.

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“We’re encouraged by the provincial government’s Homes for People action plan and its commitment to reduce the red tape that sometimes hinders the construction of new homes,” says O’Dwyer. “However, the supply issue won’t be resolved overnight, as it can take 18 months or more to bring new inventory to the market.”

VIREB tracks the data from its 90 member offices north of the Malahat.

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