While home sales continue to decline and are expected to stay slow, things may pick up towards next year as the housing market recovers.
The findings from the BC Real Estate Board say while home sales in 2022 were near their long-term average, they hide a big market shift that collided with the rise of interest rates.
The result meant sales declined 25 per cent below normal.
The board expects home sales to stay slow in 2023 because of high mortgage rates but add that they could expect a surge closer to 2024. Currently it is forecast sales will slow down 2.9 per cent on Vancouver Island and 6.8 per cent on the Sunshine Coast this year.
Next year’s predictions, however, forecast a 14.9 per cent increase on the Island and 8.3 per cent on the Sunshine Coast for the first quarters.
Provincially, this shows a 7.1 per cent decline for 2023 before a surge of 23.8 per cent next year.
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board says the slow start to the year is creating a good time to buy. So far, January saw 165 single-family homes sold in the area which is an 18 per cent decrease from December.
Inventory continues to grow with 861 homes for sale, up from 257 this time last year.
2023 chair Kelly O’Dywer says their January sales numbers do not reflect the activity they are seeing on the street. The board adds if buyers are worried about more interest-rate hikes or that rates will drop after they have locked in, purchasers can renegotiate their rate later.
Benchmark prices for homes across the Island have dropped, with the price sitting at $735,800 for a single-family home. That’s down five per cent year-over-year and down two per cent from December.
Campbell River’s benchmark price hit $647,600 in January for a five per cent decrease from the previous year. In the Comox Valley, the year-over-year price hit $784,700 for a four per cent drop.
A similar result can be reported in the Cowichan Valley at a four per cent drop and a benchmark price of $745,700. Nanaimo’s benchmark price dropped seven per cent year-over-year for a price tag of $755,300 while Parksville declined eight per cent for $856,100.
The North Island, however, while remaining the least expensive saw a two per cent rise to $428,500 for a single-family home year-over-year.
The BC Real Estate Board says they expect average prices to stay relatively flat this year but stay lower than they were in 2022.