Analyzing the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s 12-month comparative activity for January 2024, we notice several interesting trends in the residential single-family detached (not acreage or waterfront) property type. Let’s dissect these figures to understand the current state of the market and what it might mean for buyers and sellers.

Listing and Sales Volume

  • Units Listed: There’s a slight decrease in the number of units listed this month compared to last year, with 374 units listed, marking a -2.09% change. Over the past 12 months, there’s a more significant decrease of -18.24%, from 7,301 to 5,969 units. This reduction could indicate a tightening market with fewer homeowners willing to sell, possibly due to anticipating higher future values or satisfaction with current properties.
  • Units Reported Sold: The number of units sold also decreased by -6.17% this month compared to the same period last year, and by -6.67% over the past 12 months. This suggests a slight cooling off in market activity, possibly due to a combination of factors including pricing, availability, or buyer sentiment.

Pricing Trends

  • Reported Sales Dollars: Interestingly, despite fewer sales, the total sales dollars slightly increased by 0.24% this month over last year. However, looking at the 12-month data, there’s an -11.23% decrease, which aligns with the reduced volume of sales.
  • Average Sell Price / Unit: The average selling price for units has increased by 6.83% this month over last year, from $729,468 to $779,294. This indicates that while fewer homes are being sold, they are being sold at higher prices, possibly reflecting a market where demand outpaces supply for the available homes.
  • Median Sell Price: The median sell price data provided for this year shows that half of the homes sold were below $745,000, offering a more nuanced understanding of how the middle of the market is moving, without the skew of very high or very low sales.

Market Conditions

  • Sell / List Ratio: The sell/list ratio has slightly decreased, from 42.41% last year to 40.64% this year. This indicates a slight shift towards a buyer’s market, but still suggests a relatively balanced market.
  • Days to Sell: The average days to sell has decreased from 66 days last year to 55 days this year, a -16.67% change. This quicker turnaround time suggests that while there are fewer listings, the demand remains healthy, allowing homes to sell faster.
  • Active Listings: The number of active listings has decreased from 861 last year to 807 this year, reinforcing the notion of a tightening market with fewer options for buyers.

Implications

For buyers, the current market conditions suggest that while there are fewer options available, those that are on the market are moving relatively quickly and at higher prices. Buyers should be prepared for competition and to act swiftly when they find a suitable property.

For sellers, the market remains favorable, especially if they are selling properties that meet the current demand. The higher average selling price and quicker days to sell indicate that sellers can expect strong interest if their property is priced correctly.

Overall, the Vancouver Island real estate market for single-family detached homes appears to be experiencing a slight cooling in terms of volume but remains robust in terms of pricing. Buyers and sellers alike should stay informed on market trends and adjust their strategies accordingly.

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