It has been a different kind of year in the real estate market in the Alberni Valley. In my last market update (August 2014), I wrote about how the sales activity in the market had been starting-and-stopping all year. Since then the market has moved along at a very steady and deliberate pace. I am hopeful that this steadiness becomes a lasting trend in the months and years ahead.
Let us take a look at the statistics for single family homes in the great Alberni Valley. Looking first at the month of August we had 33 new listings. There were 22 reported sales, with a median sale price of $215,750. The average days on the market for those sales were 80 days. The year before, in August 2013, there were 49 new listings and 26 reported sales. The median sale price was $213,000 and the average days on the market were 95 days. What stands out to me in these numbers is that far fewer new listings were taken in 2014 compared to 2013, while the sales numbers were much the same.
Looking at September 2014 there were 50 new listings and 21 reported sale. The median sale price was $186,000 and the average days on the market were 136! In comparison, in September 2013 there were 57 new listings and 19 reported sales. The median sale price was $199,500 and the average days on the market were 95. Standing out in these numbers is the drastic difference in average days on the market.
At first glance the drastic increase in average days on the market might seem like a negative sign. However, what has happened is the number of houses on the market for buyers to choose from has slowly begun to dwindle, and homes that had been on the market for six months, and year, or even a year and a half have begun to sell. This is very much a positive sign and something we will keep an eye on moving forward.
What we will see when the market begins to turn around, is the ratio of sales to listings increase significantly. We are potentially a long way from seeing that happen, but the market has stacked up two months of activity moving in that direction. We should all be hopeful that that activity will develop into a trend over the months and years ahead.
On a cautionary note, it is important to understand that buying activity is correlated to the weather outside. We have just come through one of the driest and warmest early falls in decades. It is possible that the steady buying activity into late September was an extension of the usual summer activity.
I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving with your loved ones! We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth and have so much to be thankful for.