Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Elke Babiuk September 2017   
  Real Estate News




Elke Babiuk
REALTORŪ

CIR Realty
103, 11012 MacLeod Trail S.
Calgary, Alberta
403-295-3336
www.calgaryrealestatelink.com


 
Does your home sometimes feel a little cramped?  If so, this month's article has some terrific space saving strategies that will help you get the most out of your square footage!

There's also some great advice on how to keep your plants lean and green as well as a reminder about the dangers of radon and how it can affect your family's health.

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 
Vancouver Island housing market continues to sizzle!

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that single-family home sales dipped in August, down to 540 from last year's 622, a decrease of 13 per cent

Sales declined by three per cent from July, which saw 557 sales. However, although fewer units are moving, the board attributes it to lack of inventory, not a cooling market

There were only 1,349 single-family homes for sale in August compared to 1,395 last year, a decrease of three per cent.  Not enough supply is coming onto the market to keep up with demand, which results in homes selling faster and for more money.

Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President, confirms that the VIREB area has been a sellers' market for several months now.  "Our housing market shows no signs of slowing down, and there is little evidence of buyer fatigue," says Stromar.  "Multiple offers continue to be the norm, and we're now receiving them on condominiums and townhouses, which is virtually unprecedented for the VIREB area."

Stromar adds that many properties are selling above list price, but sellers still need to price their homes correctly because consumers are savvy and will not purchase an overpriced home. She offers the following advice for buyers.  "When you find a property you like, you need to act quickly, so make sure your financing is pre-approved," says Stromar.  "You should also decide beforehand on the price you're willing to pay if you find yourself in a multiple-offer situation."

Connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market, adds Stromar.  "Our current market conditions can be confusing and chaotic for buyers and sellers, but REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities that can help streamline the process to ensure the best possible outcome while mitigating associated risks," says Stromar.

In August 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area rose to $457,500, up 18 per cent from one year ago.  Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.  The benchmark price of an apartment in August rose 28 per cent board-wide from the previous year, while the townhouse market also strengthened, up 27 per cent overall and hitting 51 per cent in Duncan.

The August 2017 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $367,000, an increase of 21 per cent over August 2016.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price hit $454,900, up 21 per cent from last year.  Duncan reported a benchmark price of $408,300, an increase of 15 per cent compared to August 2016.  Nanaimo's benchmark price rose 18 per cent to $492,900 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 15 per cent to $508,200.  The price of a benchmark home in Port Alberni was $248,300, up 19 per cent from one year ago.

Thinking Big in Small Spaces 
With a little help, you can still live large in a small space!

If you live in a small space, it’s important that you don’t feel boxed in.  The following tips will help transform your cramped quarters into something more expansive:

  1. Shady Solutions - Painting walls a soft shade and the ceiling bright white will give the illusion of added height.

  2. Is That a Door In Your Pocket? - Installing pocket doors is an easy and inexpensive way to create lots of extra useable space.

  3. Lighten Up - Keep window areas clear of heavy drapes to expand wall area and let the sun shine in as it helps a space feel larger.

  4. Mirror Mirror - Strategically placed mirrors will create the illusion of added space and they’ll also reflect light into adjoining rooms.

  5. Cut a Rug - Having the same type of flooring throughout your home will make it feel more spacious so avoid using too many area rugs.

  6. Hide & Seek - Maximize every hidden space you have by using shelving pockets behind doors or bed risers for that all important under the bed storage.

  7. Cut the Clutter - Have a place for everything so that the surfaces in your home don’t get cluttered.  Storage baskets for example are great for hiding remotes & magazines.

  8. Open Up - Arrange your furniture so you can see as much of the floor as possible.  Rooms with blocked views can feel cramped so move furniture away from entrances.

Whether you're getting ready to put your home on the market or you just want to create more space for yourself, these easy and inexpensive tips will help give you a little extra breathing room.  By thinking big and getting creative, you can comfortably live large in even the smallest of spaces.

How to Keep your Houseplants Lean and Green 
A few houseplants will offer your home a breath of fresh air!

Houseplants are visually appealing and also improve our home's air quality by adding oxygen and removing harmful pollutants.  Here are a few hardy plants that will thrive in any environment:

  1. Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are great for beginners as they’re almost impossible to kill and they also look great in hanging baskets.

  2. Cast Iron Plants (Aspidistra elatior) are foolproof as they only require dim light and don’t need much water.

  3. The Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderana) simply stands in water and has been used by the Chinese for centuries in the art of feng shui to create harmony in the home.

Accidental drowning is a leading cause of death for houseplants.  Water them thoroughly but make sure there are drainage holes so excess water can escape as you don’t want your plants to be sitting in water.

Improper lighting is another reason why promising young plants become statistics.  It's important to match the lighting needs of plants with the amount of light you have to offer.

Houseplants are a simple and cost-effective way to infuse natural, serene style into your home.  Better yet, research suggests they reduce stress and cold related illnesses and also increase our energy levels so go out today and outfit your home with some of nature's lean mean green machines!

The Lowdown on Radon 
Do you know if you and your family are protected against radon?

Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks.

It doesn't present a concern outdoors but when radon becomes trapped inside a house, it can be very harmful to your health as it increases the risk of lung cancer.

Radon can seep into your home through gaps in floors, walls and foundations.  The only way to know if you have high radon levels is to purchase an inexpensive testing kit or to install a radon detector.

Radon concentrations vary from home to home so don't take any chances -- protect your family by testing your home for radon today.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.