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




Charlotte Kersting
Sales Representative

314 Island Hwy
Parksville, BC
250-729-6377
www.DaleRumming.ca


 
When existing homeowners decide it’s time to make a move, they sometimes consider turning their old home into a rental property. This month's article offers some helpful advice if you’re facing this difficult dilemma.

There’s also a look at some of the latest gardening trends that are sprouting up as well as a few tips on how to get your bike tuned up for the beautiful spring weather that’s finally here!

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!

Charlotte

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update 
New government guidelines continue to hamper home sales.

Sales of single-family homes in March board-wide dipped by 23 per cent year over year but were up 36 per cent from February.

Last month, 309 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 399 in March 2018 and 227 in February. In the apartment and townhouse categories, sales dropped by 10 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively.

Housing sales have weakened throughout most of the province, which the British Columbia Real Estate Association largely attributes to the mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20).

While 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 expected to continue preventing many buyers, particularly millennials, from entering the housing market. In the VIREB area, the stress test is helping reduce demand for higher-priced properties and pushing buyers towards less expensive homes. In turn, this is compressing the lower end of the market.

Weakened 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 March rose by 20 per cent from one year ago (976 to 1,172) while active listings of apartments climbed by 20 per cent (237 to 284) year over year and townhouses by 24 per cent (148 to 183).

However, despite decreased demand, prices in the VIREB area continue to rise over last year, although increases are expected to soften in the coming months. The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $510,800 in March, a six per cent increase from one year ago and up slightly from February.

In the apartment category, the benchmark price climbed to $319,800 from one year ago, an eight per cent increase but down somewhat from the previous month. The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $414,700 last month, up eight per cent over March 2018 and slightly higher than in February.

Regionally, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $417,200, an increase of eight per cent over March 2018. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $507,100, up eight per cent from one year ago.

Duncan reported a benchmark price of $471,500, up five per cent from March 2018. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose four per cent to $554,300 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by four per cent to $577,300. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $299,400 in March, up eight per cent from one year ago.

Month over month, Campbell River, Parksville-Qualicum, and Port Alberni saw modest reductions in their benchmark prices while Comox Valley, Duncan, and Nanaimo recorded small increases.

Trend-wise, VIREB’s housing market has transitioned from one favouring sellers to one that is balanced or near balanced. Balanced markets offer buyers more choice and more room to negotiate, while sellers will need to curb their expectations.

“Seller optimism regarding the value of their home is contributing to a sharp disconnect between buyers and sellers,” says Kaye Broens, 2019 VIREB President. “We’re seeing many sellers who want to list their homes at 2016 and 2017 prices, expecting to get the same amount of money their neighbour did two years ago. Unfortunately, that just isn’t realistic.”

Selling vs. Renting -- What Makes Cents? 
Not ready to sell your home? You could always rent it out instead!

Opportunities usually come out of the blue. For instance, there might be a temporary work contract that forces you to relocate.

Or perhaps a strong buyer’s market means it’s a great time to buy, but you don’t want to be forced to sell your current home at a loss.

Renting your home might be an option but there are lots of things to consider. For starters, you'll want to conduct an in-depth financial analysis. Here are a few other things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about renting out your home:

  1. Step Away - Being a landlord isn't always easy. You’ll need to detach yourself emotionally from your old home.


  2. Tax Talk - There may be tax implications, so contact your tax advisor as rules can vary depending on individual circumstances.


  3. Money Matters - Make sure to have a bit of extra money on hand in case the rent doesn’t cover your mortgage, taxes, utilities, insurance, etc.


  4. Playing the Market - You may be able to increase your equity as the market gains strength, but if it tanks, you could end up on the losing end.


  5. Be Prepared - The future's uncertain so always be prepared for unexpected repairs or if your tenant suddenly falls behind on their rent.


  6. Raucous Renters - Tenants aren’t likely to treat your home with the same level of care as you once did so when it comes time to sell, your home may need some work.

As with any decision, it’s important to weight the pros and cons. If done right, renting can be one of the best financial decisions you ever make but you'll need to treat it like a business, so evaluate the rental market and research landlord/tenant laws before moving forward.

If, on the other hand, you decide to put your home on the market, make sure you have a professional real estate agent to help advise you on how to sell your home quickly and for top dollar. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions regarding this decision, or any other real estate related matters.

The Secret Garden Inspiration 
Create a garden space that'll bring you health and relaxation!

It’s that fresh new time of year when many of us step outside, roll up our sleeves and bring our gardens back to life! Here are a few ideas to help inspire you this spring:

  1. Grow Local - Flowers, shrubs and grasses that are native to your area are easy to maintain and also provide a natural habitat for birds, pollinators and insects.

  2. Sky High - Vertical gardening is popular, especially for those with small spaces. All you need is a wall, fence or trellis to grow edibles, annuals and perennials. The sky’s the limit!


  3. Foodscaping - Instead of traditional vegetable patches, backyards are being transformed into edible landscapes that include vegetables, berries, fruits and herbs.


  4. Flower Power - Edible flowers such as red clover, bee balm, daylilies and borage are also surging in popularity as they look beautiful and taste even better!


  5. Child’s Play - It’s important to limit screen time and get kids back into nature so parents are encouraging their children to develop an appreciation for gardening.

The new generation of gardeners are interested in supporting the environment and growing their own food, which is slowly starting to change the way we live and eat. Gardening is also the perfect excuse to switch off your device and get in touch with mother nature!

Stay Tuned 
It’s time to haul your bike out of storage and give it a tune-up!

Riding a bike is a great way to get around as it’s environmentally friendly and a great form of exercise.

There’s no need for gas, insurance premiums, parking fees, etc. and best of all, it makes you feel like a kid again!

Whether you use your bike to get to work or you’re looking forward to hitting the trails, you’ll want to make sure your bike’s safe and reliable. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  1. Get in Gear - Make sure your gears shift smoothly.
  2. Chain Reaction - Clean your chain before applying oil.
  3. Sick and Tired - Check your tread and the tire pressure.
  4. Pump the Brakes - Inspect your brakes for excessive wear and adjust your cables.

If you don’t feel comfortable tuning up your bike, take it to a local bike shop. It’s well worth it as regular maintenance will extend the life of your bike and it’ll also make riding much more enjoyable. Once you get your bike in tip-top shape, make sure you have a strong lock, a good helmet and a bright light!



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.