If only we could see the future! Clients ask me every day. No one can predict exactly what can happen in the future however strong analytics, economic and industry knowledge, historical trends, government policies, local area knowledge and statistics, Real Estate expertise, ability to look at things from a big picture, macro and micro economics, related news, and education can all come together to give you that “gut feeling” of what is to come. Most resist going out on a limb and making predictions for what is to come. Well I’m not that bashful so here goes…..
Real Estate markets are unique and sometimes insular from each other. This means that what happens in Vancouver doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to happen in the Valley. We are a microcosm. We have continually been listed in many foreign publications as one of the best places on the planet to visit and live. We have the two newest regional hospitals in the CV and CR. This is a major draw to many. We still have approximately 14 years of baby boomers to retire across the country. Many want to live out their days remaining in Canada but in a much more temperate climate. BC and specifically Vancouver Island is that destination. Retirees look for communities are retirement friendly, have a large demographic of like-minded retirees and provide all of the amenities to make growing old comfortable. That’s us. We already have a vibrant retirement community. Our Island is rich in arts & culture, foodie heaven with great farm to plate dining, wineries, breweries, distilleries, farmers markets, world class festivals showing off the West Coast and all its splendor. Recreation abounds with over 50 golf courses, Mt. Washington Ski Resort, destination spas, world class mountain biking, water sports, fishing, hiking and beaches, nature parks, rivers, lakes and oceans, myriad of small islands to explore and so much more. We have connectivity with an International Airport, ferry system and easy transit on and off Vancouver Island. We really do have everything you could ever want, so it’s not hard to see why our population will continue to grow into the future. The secret, sadly, is out!
Historically Victoria had the highest price point for homes on Vancouver Island, and for the most part prices fell the further North you travelled. Qualicum beach and Parksville did a great job in the 80’s and early 90’s marketing themselves as a retirement hub. That pushed Real Estate in that market past Nanaimo. For years the Comox Valley was way behind Nanaimo and the Qualicum area in pricing. Well, as they say, “Times They are a-Changin’.”
You can see in the graph above that CV has surged past Nanaimo in average sale price and median price. We are closing the gap on Parksville/Qualicum and I believe we will soon overtake it. I talk to people from the Parksville/Qualicum area looking to move to the Comox Valley often. Reasons for the move are; 1. new hospitals, 2. better airport and connectivity, and 3. more vibrant lifestyle. Remember, 80% or more of sales in the Comox Valley are buyers from Vancouver Island shifting up/down and sideways, both in price and location
As a long-time valley resident (1975), I’ve witnessed this small fishing/logging town grow into this vibrant cultural mecca. Live the Island Lifestyle!
Historical averages since the 1980’s shows approximately 4% growth year over year. We have had a number of bumps in the road and several big spikes along the way. 2015-2019 saw an over 40% increase in home prices alone. Real Estate is cyclical (7 years approx.) We are at a typical flattening off period. The government has intervened as they often do to slow things down. Mortgage stress test, etc. New tax programs for Speculators and Investors. It’s worked in many markets, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting us at the same rate. Indicators are everywhere that we are poised for more and more growth. Re/Max Ocean Pacific Realty was just awarded the “top transaction small market office” for all of Canada & Re/Max International in 2019. That’s a huge statement for a little Community.
How many of us wish we all bought a few homes in Cumberland 15 years ago? When I was a kid Cumberland was a swear word, now it’s the place to be! “Times They are a-Changin’”