Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Charlotte Kersting June 2019   
  Real Estate News

Charlotte Kersting
Sales Representative

314 Island Hwy
Parksville, BC

The ability to successfully negotiate can be a real game changer! This month’s article discusses some simple negotiating tips that will help you successfully navigate your way through virtually any situation.

There are also some ideas on how to cool down your home without having to turn on the A/C as well as a few tips on how to grill the perfect steak!

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!


In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update 
Sluggish spring housing market continues in May.

Sales of single-family homes in May board-wide dipped by 12 per cent year over year but rose by 11 per cent from April.

Last month, 459 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 412 the previous month and 519 in May 2018.

Sales of apartments dipped by seven per cent year over year while townhouse sales increased by 19 per cent. The British Columbia Real Estate Association reports that on a seasonally adjusted basis, sales in the VIREB area are close to 2014 levels, and current market conditions are
expected to continue into the fall.

The mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20) continues to hurt housing sales throughout British Columbia, including Vancouver Island. Although the B.C. economy continues to be highly supportive of housing demand, the negative shock to affordability and purchasing power created by the stress test is making it extremely difficult for some buyers, particularly millennials, to enter the housing market. Prospective buyers who can afford monthly mortgage payments are unable to qualify because Guideline B-20 has eroded their purchasing power by as much as 20 per cent.

Weak housing demand has also contributed to an increase in total active residential listings across the province. In the VIREB area, inventory of single-family homes in May rose by 22 per cent from one year ago (1,217 to 1,482). Active listings of apartments climbed by 18 per cent (287 to 339) year over year while townhouse inventory decreased by five per cent (197 to 187).

Despite decreased demand, prices in the VIREB area are still rising, although those increases are softening. The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $512,500 in May, a four per cent increase from one year ago. Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area. In the apartment category, the benchmark price climbed to $300,700 from one year ago, a six per cent increase. The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $445,500 last month, up seven per cent over May 2018.

Regionally, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $428,900, an increase of four per cent over May 2018. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $518,400, up by five per cent from one year ago. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $469,400, an increase of two per cent from May 2018.

Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose by two per cent to $557,500 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by three per cent to $587,100. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $314,100 in May, a seven per cent increase from one year ago.

Trend-wise, VIREB’s housing market has transitioned from one favouring sellers to one that is balanced. REALTORS® are reporting some multiple offers on lower-priced properties, but homes are moving more slowly than they did in the sellers’ markets of 2016 and 2017. Regardless of market conditions, however, well-priced properties sell more quickly.

“When fewer buyers are competing for a property, sellers need to be far more strategic, which is why the advice of a local REALTOR® is so crucial,” says Kaye Broens, 2019 VIREB President. “We’ll conduct a comparative marketing analysis using recent sales data to determine an optimal selling price for your home.”

Simple Negotiating Strategies 
The ability to successfully negotiate can be a real game changer!

Real estate agents use their negotiation skills to help both parties move towards a common goal. They are, however, an important skill that everyone can take advantage of.

The principles are the same whether you’re negotiating a raise with your boss or a curfew with your teenager. Here are a few techniques to consider:

  1. Silence is Golden - Don’t say anything after making an offer. This gives the other party a chance to think but more importantly, it forces them to break the uncomfortable silence.

  2. Cash or Charge? - If your child hates doing their homework, simply ask “Would you like to do your homework before or after dinner?” Instead of excuses, they'll just pick an option.

  3. Plan B, C and D - It’s important not to paint yourself into a corner so always leave yourself options so that you’ll be able to pivot in another direction if things don’t initially go your way.

  4. Feel, Felt, Found - This technique recognizes the other party’s objection and then offers a solution. “I know how you feel. I felt the same way when I had to go to bed early but the next day, I found I had way more energy!"

Life can sometimes be a challenge but honest communication and the ability to negotiate can turn virtually any circumstance into a win-win situation!

Negotiating is a huge part of an agent’s skill set, so when it comes to buying or selling a home, be sure to have an expert on your side to help you overcome the various challenges that may arise.

Don't Lose Your Cool 
Stay cool and score some huge savings this summer!

Air conditioning is great to have when things heat up but it can be very expensive and it’s also bad for the environment. Here are a few tips to help you keep your cool without having to turn on the A/C:

  1. Cross-wind - Place a fan near your window to help create a cooling cross breeze.

  2. Treehouse - Plant deciduous trees on the east and west sides of your home as the leaves will provide shade.

  3. Sunny Side Down - The sun lets in a lot of heat so close your blinds on any windows that receive direct sunlight.

  4. Biggest Fan - Set your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise in the summer as they’ll help pull hot air up towards the ceiling.

  5. Appliance Smarts - Use the BBQ or crock pot instead of turning on the oven and wait until the evening to run the dryer and dishwasher.

No one wants to overheat during the dog days of summer but by making a few small changes, you’ll be able to stay as cool as a cucumber while saving the planet and some cash!

There's a Lot at Steak! 
There’s nothing better than grilling a steak in the great outdoors!

The sizzle and aroma of a BBQ is a sure sign that summer’s just around the corner. No one likes a dry, overcooked steak, so here are a few tips to ensure your steak gets grade A treatment:

  1. Plan Ahead - Bring the steak to room temperature before throwing it on the grill.

  2. Fire it Up - A hot grill results in a juicer steak so always preheat your BBQ.

  3. Don’t Poke - Never cut into a steak to see if it’s done as the juices will escape.

  4. Rest Easy - Let it rest for 5 minutes under tented foil to allow the juices inside to redistribute.

The type of beef obviously makes a huge difference to the taste but many experts say that marbling, which are thin white streaks of fat, is just as important as it makes for a juicier, more tender steak. Happy grilling!

PS Are you sick of scouring the web looking for homes? Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold? Let me introduce you to my Private Client Server - complete with a password for you alone! Sit back, relax and let me do the work for you! Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing your dream home.


Properties are best discovered through conversation and more importantly, physically visiting the properties. Both can be arranged by contacting me directly.   

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.