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  December 2016   
 

Hi,

If you're planning on selling your home, it’s important to be aware of some common mistakes that sellers often fall victim to.  This month’s feature article discusses what not to do when selling your home.

There’s also some advice on how to spot online scams that are so popular during the holiday season as well as a few tips on how to avoid the flu.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you ever have any questions or comments.  In the meantime, here’s wishing you all the best during the holiday season!

Warmest Regards,
Rudi & Trish W.
In this issue...
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report
Sellers Behaving Badly
Shopping Scams are Coming to Town
Forgotten Flu Spots

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 

Inventory dips again to reach new historic low in November.

Inventory of single-family homes in the VIREB area dropped yet again in November 2016 to reach a new historic low of 1,034, a 37 per cent decrease from one year ago and dipping below October’s 1,158 available listings.

Sales of single-family homes in November decreased by 13 per cent from October 2016, but remained flat year over year, with 347 homes selling last month compared to 349 in November 2015.

The lack of sales movement can be attributed to low inventory and seasonal market conditions, not reduced buyer demand.  Active listings of apartments and townhouses also dipped in November, down 45 per cent and 47 per cent respectively, an indication that consumers may be turning to alternative property types due to the lack of single-family inventory.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) notes that robust housing demand continues to be driven by a provincial economy underpinned by consumer confidence, surging retail sales, population growth, and a strong GDP.  In its 2016 Fourth-Quarter Housing Forecast, BCREA reports that MLS® residential sales in the province are forecast to climb 11 per cent to a record 113,800 units this year, eclipsing the previous record of 106,310 units in 2005.  Although BCREA anticipates that less robust economic conditions combined with government policy constraints will slow housing demand by more than 15 per cent in 2017, unit sales should remain well above the 10-year average of 85,000.

While the Foreign Buyer Tax imposed at the beginning of August has adversely affected the Vancouver market, there appears to be no negative fallout thus far in the VIREB area.  Foreign buyers are not turning to Vancouver Island instead of the Lower Mainland and are not the impetus driving buyer demand in the VIREB housing market, nor are the new housing rules introduced by the Government of Canada in October.  The latter restrictions, intended to standardize eligibility criteria for high-ratio and low-ratio insured mortgages, will have a greater impact on buyers purchasing homes in the $500,000-plus range.  VIREB’s benchmark prices on all property types are below that mark.

Housing sales in the VIREB area would likely be considerably higher if there were more homes available, and buyers are frustrated by the lack of inventory.  Margo Hoffman, 2016 VIREB President, is encouraging potential home sellers to take advantage of these market conditions.

“Sellers are in the driver’s seat right now, but consumers need to realize that sellers’ markets don’t last forever,” says Hoffman.  “The real estate market always experiences ebbs and flows, so if you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, now is the time.”

Hoffman notes that connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive market, particularly when multiple offers are the norm.  REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities and are equipped with sales tools, such as custom analytics, to help you develop a winning strategy for buying or selling a home.

In November 2016, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $395,300, up 17 per cent from one year ago.  Prices increased in every zone, ranging from 13 per cent in Port Alberni to 22 per cent in Nanaimo.  The benchmark price of an apartment rose approximately 21 per cent board-wide from the previous year, but the highest increases were posted in the Comox Valley (23 per cent), Campbell River (28 per cent), and Parksville-Qualicum (31 per cent).  The townhouse market also strengthened in November, posting a 15 per cent increase board-wide and ranging from 11 per cent in Port Alberni to nearly 20 per cent in Campbell River.

The November 2016 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $310,600, an increase of 15 per cent over November 2015.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $393,500, up 16 per cent from 2015.

Duncan reported a benchmark price of $346,500, an increase of 14 per cent compared to November 2015.  Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 22 per cent to $433,700 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price rise by 19 per cent to $452,600.  The price of a benchmark home in Port Alberni hit $213,600, up 13 per cent from one year ago.

Sellers Behaving Badly 

There are various emotional side effects to selling your home.

Mistakes mean your home will sit on the market longer and eventually sell for less.  Try and get it right the first time by avoiding the following:

  1. Overpricing - Home sellers are often tempted to price their home way above market value but this tactic usually backfires.  The longer a home sits on the market, the more of a stigma it'll develop.

  2. Restricted Access - It’s easy for buyers to skip your home if it's not easily accessible.  The goal is to show your home to as many people as possible so using a lockbox is key, pardon the pun :)

  3. Hanging Around - Owners should always leave before a showing so buyers can browse without distractions.  If a buyer can make themselves feel at home, they’ll be better able to envision themselves living there.

  4. Poor Staging - You may love the statement your pink bathroom makes but odds are others won’t so consider a more neutral shade.  Also, make sure to get rid of excess clutter and take care of any outstanding repairs to portray pride of ownership.

  5. Going It Alone - Selling your home can be an overwhelming experience.  A real estate agent’s job is not only to expose your home to the masses but also to act as a 3rd party negotiator to help you get the highest price in the shortest amount of time.

Your home is most likely your biggest asset so when you decide to sell, it’s important that you do it right. Viewing the sale of your home as a business transaction and putting aside any emotional ties you may have is a great start to ensuring you sell your home quickly, easily and for top dollar!

Shopping Scams are Coming to Town 

Make sure to be on high alert for online scams this holiday season.

It’s convenient to shop online from the comfort of your home during this busy time of year but the hectic holiday season is also a popular time for cybercriminals.  Here are a few scams to be aware of:

  1. Delivery Details - Be wary of emails claiming “you have a parcel delivery but your address needs to be verified” as it’s likely a scam.

  2. The Hot Ticket - Desperate shoppers eager to score hot holiday gifts are easy prey for cybercrooks who set up legitimate looking websites that show the popular item in stock.

  3. Fake Shopping Apps - Fake retail and product apps designed to steal your personal or financial details are increasingly common and hard to recognize as they closely resemble popular brands.

  4. Holiday eCards - Don’t open eCards if you're not sure who they’re from.  Instead of a warm holiday greeting, it could be a cyber scammer whose gift comes in the form of a virus or spyware.

Unfortunately, there are many people out there who aren’t thinking about holiday cheer and goodwill to all.  Keep yourself safe by updating your antivirus software, visit only trusted, secure sites and never open messages from people you don't know.

Forgotten Flu Spots 

Your home could be a breeding ground for the flu.

It’s no fun having the flu, especially during the holidays, so it’s important to clean shared spaces and frequently touched surfaces.  Here are a few spots to focus on:

  • smartphones & tablets
  • computer keyboard & mouse
  • light switches and remote controls
  • door knobs and handles on appliances and cupboards
  • car steering wheel, seat belts and shifter

Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to fight germs but regularly sanitizing common germ infested hot spots is also key.  Remember to keep the hand sanitizer on hand (pardon the pun :) and hopefully you’ll be able to avoid the flu this year!


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

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook
 

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