Thursday, January 08, 2009

Nanaimo House Prices & Sales Softening

2008 an adjusting year for Van Island real estate

NANAIMO, BC – Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) annual sales summary data released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) for 2008, shows an annual drop in the number of sales with average sale prices trending down.

While the average sale price across the VIREB region for 2008 was $349,510, a six per cent increase from 2007, average prices actually fell three percent in the last month of 2008.

There were 4,059 residential unit sales for 2008, down 30 per cent from the 5,834 posted in 2007. Total listings inventory was 21,776 in 2008, up from 20,423 in 2007.

In the latest monthly MLS® sales summary for December 2008, there were 137 MLS® sales, down from 279 in December 2007. Listings for December 2008 were also down from December 2007.

Incoming 2009 President Ray Francis says while there has been a definite slowdown, the VIREB market remains stable overall and correctly-priced homes are selling.

"Looking back in 2008 from January to August, things were on line with 2007," he says. "It is only in the last three to four months we've noticed a sharp decline. Most of that has to do with what's happening in the US and the global economic slowdown.”

Subhadra Ghose, a Nanaimo REALTOR® and VIREB’s 2008 President, says there is no question the global economic slowdown is being felt.

“More buyers and sellers appear to be taking a ‘wait and see’ approach. The unseasonably wintry weather over the Christmas holidays didn’t help that,” she says. “However fewer listings in December going into the New Year shows inventories of properties are re-adjusting and starting to balance out.”

VIREB Campbell River Director Erika-Leigh Haley reminds sellers to be realistic. “While it is very nice to see a six per cent increase in the VIREB average price from 2007, sellers need to remember that the market didn’t actually turn until the later part of 2008. Sales volumes have fallen sharply and the average price in the month of December fell across the VIREB region and are trending down.”

2008 annual average sale prices across VIREB's six zones: Campbell River increased 6 per cent (to $315,252), the Comox Valley was up 8 per cent (at $354,307), Nanaimo is up 6 per cent (to $365,173), Parksville/Qualicum grew 3 per cent (to $392,344), Port Alberni increased 9 per cent (to $238,137) and the Cowichan Valley increased 9 per cent (to $383,101).

Nanaimo House Price Comparison

In Nanaimo in Dec. 2007 there were 83 units sold with an average price of $377,397 compared with Dec. 2008 with 43 units sold with an average price of $364,516. The median price for Dec. 2008 was $338,000 down from the median price in 2007 of $365,000.

This means that comparing Dec. 07 with Dec. 08 Nanaimo house prices have declined by 3.4% based on average price and 7.4% based on median price.


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