Karen Hayes: (250) 927-9798 | Susie Mattner: (250) 228-1960 | sold@teamw.ca

Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish WiddershovenMarch 2017

Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven

  March 2017   

Poor indoor air quality can cause an array of health problems for you and your family. This month’s article shares some ideas that will dramatically improve the air you breathe.

There’s also a fun way to keep in touch with your pets when you’re away at work as well as a discussion on the importance of having emergency escape ladders for the upper rooms of your home.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you 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...
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report
Breathe Easy in a Healthy, Happy Home
New Technology for Pet Parents
Upper Level Fire Escape Planning

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 

Despite additional inventory, we're still in a sellers’ market.

In February 2017, 347 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 406 last February, a decrease of 15 per cent.  Sales rose by 42 per cent from January 2017, which saw 245 sales.

Inventory of single-family homes declined by 38 per cent from February 2016, with 949 active listings compared to 1,529 one year ago.  However, the 949 available properties reflect a six per cent increase over January, an encouraging development since the lack of inventory continues to challenge consumers and REALTORS® in the VIREB area.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that strong economic fundamentals are fuelling housing demand throughout British Columbia, with the B.C. economy continuing to outpace the rest of Canada.  Among other factors, increased population growth is a significant force driving the provincial housing market.

“In the first three-quarters of 2016, net migration to British Columbia hit 50,000 people,” says Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.  “Although most of those residents will end up on the Lower Mainland, the effects of this influx will inevitably trickle into other markets.”

Although BCREA expects the provincial economy to weaken somewhat this year, consumer confidence and job growth should continue to have a net positive effect on the housing market.  After dipping in late 2016 and again, and that is certainly happening on Vancouver Island.

In fact, sales in the VIREB area would no doubt be much higher if there were more properties available, says Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President.  “The Nanaimo market in February was busier than I’ve ever seen,” says Stromar.  “Single-family homes in the $450,000 range are practically flying out the door, and multiple offers are the norm, not the exception.”

The VIREB area has been a sellers’ market for several months now, and Stromar encourages people to list their homes now.  “Real estate is cyclical, and consumers need to take advantage of these market conditions because they won’t last forever,” says Stromar.

In February 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $403,100, up 18 per cent from one year ago.  Prices increased in every zone, ranging from 14 per cent in Duncan and Port Alberni to 25 per cent in Nanaimo.  The benchmark price of an apartment in February rose 22 per cent board-wide from the previous year, but the highest increases were seen in Parksville-Qualicum (24 per cent), the Comox Valley (26 per cent), and Campbell River (26 per cent).  The townhouse market also strengthened in January, posting a 20 per cent increase board-wide.

The February 2017 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $318,100, an increase of 17 per cent over February 2016.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price hit $401,000, up 17 per cent from 2016.  Duncan reported a benchmark price of $345,500, an increase of 14 per cent compared to February 2016.  Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 25 per cent to $444,400 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 20 per cent to $454,100.  The price of a benchmark home in Port Alberni stayed the same as in January but did rise by 14 per cent from one year ago.

Breathe Easy in a Healthy, Happy Home 

Improving your home’s air quality is easier than you might think.

The term "air quality" is usually associated with outdoor air pollution caused by cars and factories.  The truth however is that the toxins in our home can be just as dangerous.

Hazards include pet dander, dust mites, nitrous dioxides, formaldehyde and fungi.  Fear not though as there are a variety of ways to improve your home's air quality such as:

  1. Let It Out - Properly ventilate your home with exhaust fans and open up your windows whenever possible.

  2. Natural Air - Houseplants such as peace lilies and spider plants will soak up toxins and naturally purify your home’s air.

  3. Humid House - Purchase a humidity gauge so that you can monitor and adjust your home’s humidity levels.

  4. Clean Green - Use natural cleaners such as lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda instead of toxic chemical cleaners.

  5. Furry Friends - Brush pets outside and wash their beds on a regular basis to control hair and dander.

  6. Fresh & Clean - Mix up homemade air fresheners instead of using synthetic ones that are full of harmful chemicals.

  7. Tread Lightly - Carpets trap irritants which can be especially harmful to children so vacuum regularly and place doormats at each entrance.

We focus so much time and effort decorating our home for aesthetic appeal but we often ignore our indoor air quality.  Implementing just a few of these ideas will make a huge difference.  Nothing in life is quite as precious as the air we breathe so it’s important that we don’t take it for granted.
New Technology for Pet Parents 
You’re now able to watch, chat and play with your pets from anywhere!

It’s now easier than ever before to check in with Fido or Fluffy while you’re away.  Here are just a few of the ways the latest hi-tech pet gadgets can help:

  1. Pet Play - Relieve your pet’s boredom with a built-in laser pointer that you control remotely.

  2. Treat Time - If your pets are behaving, you can remotely dispense a treat or two as praise.

  3. Cheeky Pup - Now you can spy on your dog to see if he’s secretly jumping up on the couch for a snooze.

  4. Home Alone - The sight of your smile and the sound of your voice can help alleviate your pet’s anxiety.

  5. Fido’s Calling - Certain video calling cameras allow your pet to tap a button so that they can call you!

Leaving our best friends home alone is hard but innovative technology can now alleviate some of that stress while providing peace of mind.  Now you can check in on a sick pet, keep tabs on a mischievous pup or simply give your pet some love while you’re away.

Upper Level Fire Escape Planning 

No one wants to think about a house fire but it’s important to be prepared.

Hopefully your family already has a fire escape plan but an often-overlooked element are fire escape ladders.

This compact yet fully functional ladder will protect you and your family by providing a safe, reliable means of escape.  It’s important to measure the windowsills and purchase one for each upstairs room.

Once you’ve made the purchase, make sure every family member knows where they’re stored and how to use them.  It’s a good idea to have a practice run so that everyone will be comfortable using them in the event of an emergency.

PS Oh by the way, we always appreciate 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 at team@teamw.ca or give us a call:  250-468-1498

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TeamW - Susie Mattner & Karen Hayes
TeamW at Royal LePage Parksville - Qualicum Beach Realty
679 Memorial Avenue
Qualicum Beach, BC
V9K 1T4 CA

MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.