MLS Stats and Market Update

I dated a letter '2016' this morning and it felt strange. I suppose, like every year, I'll get used to writing 2016 just before it's time to celebrate the new year again. Is it just me, or is time speeding up? I guess that'll have to be a topic for another article...

This article is about real estate in 2016, or more specifically, what we can glean about this year by looking back at the year we just closed out. One thing is for sure, our team get up every morning and help people make some of the biggest and most exciting financial decisions of their lives, so 2016 is bound to be a lot of fun.

Our team has not been this optimistic about a coming year in real estate since the beginning of 2006.  If 2015 was any example, it's going to be a great year. But, what about the effect oil prices will have on the market? While we're sympathetic to the people who are losing jobs across Canada, here in Port Alberni we're confident that the real estate market will continue chugging right on along.

Let's look back at how the sales numbers turned out for 2015 for single family homes, strata units, multifamily residential buildings, and land in the Alberni Valley.  

Single Family Homes    
  2015 2014
Number of Listings 642 630
Number of Sales 316 254
Median Sale Price $196,000 $201,000
Avg. Days on Market 81 99


Strata Units    
  2015 2014
Number of Listings 52 57
Number of Sales 23 17
Median Sale Price $103,000 $142,500
Avg. Days on Market 95 193


Multi-Family Buildings    
  2015 2014
Number of Listings 15 16
Number of Sales 6 5
Median Sale Price $159,000 $230,000
Avg. Days on Market 89 108


  2015 2014
Number of Listings 129 154
Number of Sales 36 43
Median Sale Price $84,000 $105,000
Avg. Days on Market 159 110


We always look at markets in terms of supply and demand. When the supply of properties on the market stays constant, but the demand increases, the market is moving to a healthier state. If demand continue to increase in proportion to supply, property values will inevitable go up.     

Looking at single family homes, strata units, and residential multi-family buildings, you'll notice that the number of listings (supply) remained pretty much the same between 2014 and 2015, while the number of units sold increased. Also interesting is that the average days on the market decreased considerable in all three categories!

Single family homes sales performed the best in 2015 and we witnessed prices increase a little in certain segments of the market. Strata sales remained sluggish, but certainly showed signs of improvement.

Land sales is another matter.  The sales to new listings ratio remained exactly the same between 2015 and 2014.  We have witnessed this same trend in the past, when the real estate market began turning around.  In Port Alberni, re-sale single family homes have become so affordable that building has become less attractive to some.  As single family home prices increase, land will slowly become in higher demand.

It will be fun to look back at this article in 12 months and see how this year stacked up.  Hopefully by then, I'll be used to writing 2016!

~Chris Fenton, BCom, Realtor

The Fenton Team