Island housing prices stabilize

NANAIMO – Housing sales activity across Vancouver Island was down six per cent in March compared to last year.

Multiple Listing Service sales summary data for March released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board shows housing sales activity across Vancouver Island was down six per cent compared to last year, while average sale prices remained virtually unchanged.

The average price of a single-family home sold within the VIREB region in March was $319,912 which is nearly identical to the March 2012 average price of $319,661.

The number of housing units reported sold last month were down compared to a year ago.

In March 2012 there were 298 single family homes sold, in comparison 281 unit sales were recorded in March 2013.

“We’ve experienced increased levels of month-over-month activity through the first quarter of 2013 which should translate into increased unit sales as we move into the spring,” said VIREB president Gary Gray. “With stable pricing, reasonably strong inventory levels and historically low mortgage rates, buyers are realizing that this is a good time to buy a home.”

As of the end of March 2013 there were 2,532 single family homes available on the Multiple Listing Service within VIREB’s coverage area, down approximately four per cent from the 2,702 homes in the system at the end of March 2012.

Comparing March 2013 to March 2012, the average sale prices across VIREB’s six zones saw: Campbell River increase eight per cent to $289,471, the Comox Valley was down three per cent to $321,633, Nanaimo’s average sales price was up one per cent to $352,466 from the March 2012 average price of $349,806, Parksville/Qualicum prices edged up two per cent to $359,448, Port Alberni/West Coast was unchanged at $207,012 while the Cowichan Valley was down two per cent to $324,537.

In terms of unit sales year to year, there continued to be a wide disparity between the different zones last month. The Port Alberni/West Coast region recorded a 20 per cent increase in unit sales while Campbell River unit sales were off 29 per cent compared to March 2012.

– Black Press

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