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  Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven July 2016   
 



Multigenerational living is making a huge comeback as it provides solutions to a variety of social and financial obstacles.  This month’s feature article offers a few points to consider if you're thinking about sharing a home with extended family.

There are also some suggestions on how to create a backyard sanctuary for birds and butterflies as well as some simple ways to help your home feel more spacious.

Thanks so much for taking the time to check out this month's newsletter.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you ever have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Warmest Regards,
Rudi & Trish W.
In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report
Sharing a Home with Extended Family
A Quick Chat About the Birds and the Butterflies
A Complete Waste of Space

Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 

Vancouver Island housing market cools slightly in June.

Home sales in the VIREB area cooled slightly in June but were still significantly higher than reported one year ago.  In June 2016, 713 single-family homes sold on the MLS® System compared to 636 last June, an increase of 12 per cent.

Month-over-month, sales decreased by seven per cent from the 767 sales processed in May 2016.  Last month’s active listings for single-family homes totalled 1,621, down 33 per cent from the 2,425 reported in June 2015, a record low.

The last time inventory levels neared the 2,000 mark was in 2006, when they dropped to 2,029.  As noted last month, the robust housing market in British Columbia, particularly in the southern half of the province, is solidly based on a healthy GDP, substantial job growth, and a growing population.

“The provincial economy is firing on all cylinders and continues to lead the country by a significant margin, which is fuelling the housing market,” says Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Economist.“ Job growth in B.C. is twice that of Ontario, our closest economic competitor, and is especially strong on the Lower Mainland and in Victoria.”  Ogmundson adds that although BCREA does expect to see some price relief in the Vancouver housing market, current market conditions will likely prevail for the rest of 2016.

Margo Hoffman, VIREB 2016 President, says that sales activity typically slows down in the summer, which likely accounts for June’s modest decrease in sales.  However, lack of inventory is also a contributing factor.  “We’ve been saying the same thing for months, but low inventory is the primary challenge facing buyers and agents right now,” says Hoffman.  “Although we’re in a seller’s market, homeowners are holding back because they’re worried they won’t find another property to buy.  And, when houses come onto the market, they’re snapped up very quickly.”

The lack of inventory is also contributing to rising benchmark prices for single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments.  Despite those increases, however, the Vancouver Island housing market continues to be affordable compared to the Lower Mainland and Victoria.

“With the benchmark price of a single-family home ranging from $201,800 in Port Alberni to $433,400 in the Parksville-Qualicum area, home buyers have a lot of affordable options on Vancouver Island,” says Hoffman.  Hoffman adds that in a competitive housing market, connecting with a local REALTOR® is crucial to ensure you develop a winning strategy for buying or selling your home.

In June 2016, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $373,200, up 11 per cent from one year ago.  The benchmark price of an apartment rose by 6.53 per cent to hit $202,600 while the benchmark price of a townhouse increased to $275,200, up 10.56 per cent from one year ago.  Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.  The average price of a single-family home last month was $410,259, up 14 per cent from June 2015.

The June 2016 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $291,900, a three per cent increase over 2015.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $364,400, up nine per cent from 2015.  Duncan reported a benchmark price of $325,400, an increase of nine per cent over the same month in 2015.  Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose approximately 15 per cent to $402,100 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price rise by 16 per cent to $433,400.  The price of a benchmark home in Port Alberni was $201,800, up just under six per cent from one year ago.

Sharing a Home with Extended Family 

Multigenerational living is a trend that continues to gain popularity!

A growing number of buyers are looking for homes that will accommodate extended family in order to reduce costs and bring them closer together.

A primary reason is that debt saddled millennials oftentimes can’t afford their own place.  This is especially true given the rising price of homes.

From a social perspective, feelings of isolation and loneliness are often alleviated when grandparents live with extended family plus it’s much easier to care for an ailing parent when you’re living under the same roof.
 
The shift has also been fueled by parents wishing to cut childcare costs.  Having a live-in babysitter is extremely helpful and the close relationship children build with extended family is a huge bonus.  Conflicts can however arise when relatives live in close quarters so here are a few things to consider:

  1. Know Your Needs - Think about the type of home that will best suit your situation.  Garage apartments, in-law suites and refurbished basements are all popular options.  Spacious rooms to accommodate large family gatherings are also a huge plus.

  2. Buffer Zone - Determine how much space you’re willing to share and discuss boundaries and what exactly constitutes privacy.  You don’t want to constantly be arguing about how your father-in-law hogs the bathroom every morning!

  3. Be Clear - Agree on each family member’s obligations in advance such as childcare, cooking, cleaning, etc. so that everyone’s clear from day one.  Regular house meetings will also help minimize disagreements.

Multigenerational living is definitely becoming more and more popular.  The key to successfully living under the same roof is being able to compromise, to have mutual respect for one another and to have an open line of communication.  If this can be achieved, living with extended family can be a true joy!

A Quick Chat About the Birds and the Butterflies 

Your garden will spring to life with the addition of birds and butterflies!

Creating a haven in your garden for birds and butterflies takes a little planning but it’s well worth the effort.  The following simple tips will help you turn your garden into a sanctuary:

  1. Go Natural - Avoid using pesticides as they’re harmful to both birds and butterflies.

  2. Water Works - Install a bird bath or fountain for your feathered friends to bathe and drink from.

  3. Food & Shelter - Trees and shrubs that bear fruit, nuts and berries not only provide food but also offer shelter.

  4. Bloom Boom - Butterflies are attracted to pink, orange, yellow, red, purple & blue shades while butterfly larvae feed on dill, fennel and milkweed.

  5. Sun Seekers - Butterflies like sunny locations that are sheltered from the wind.  A few flat stones will give them a place to rest while warming in the sun.

If you're looking to breathe some new life into your garden, just take a few steps to rally up some winged wildlife!  Not only will you provide a place for them to call home but you’ll also create an oasis that the whole family will enjoy.

A Complete Waste of Space 

Storage space sells so don’t forget to clean out your closets!

When selling your home, it’s often the small things that make a huge difference.  Storage can be a critical factor for buyers so here are two simple tips that will make your home seem larger:

  • Remove at least half of all items from closets and cupboards so they appear larger and get rid of anything on the floor.  Use the same hangers (no wire!) throughout.

  • Organize the remaining items so your closets and cupboards look tidier.  Make sure to neatly fold up towels and linens and use attractive bins and boxes to organize any loose items.

The points above may seem obvious but they’re often overlooked.  Remember that storage space sells and if buyers see your closets bursting at the seams, they’ll assume your home isn’t big enough for you…or for them.


PS  Oh by the way, we are never too busy for any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!

If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email or give us a call:  250-468-1498 / 250-248-1071team@teamw.ca

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