Vancouver Island Real Estate News from teamW - Rudi Widdershoven March 2013   

Hi Paul,

Well spring is certainly here, even if the calendar does not agree - yet, but soon!  Grass was cut on February 13th and it is ready for another. 

Our grandson turned 13 last week & is coming for a visit later today - on his own.  He will take some golf lessons and later in the week we will play a round.  He seems quite excited about visiting on his own with Opa & Oma.

As of May 1st it will be 30 years that Trish & I arrived in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area - where does time go?  It is certainly home for us and as a result we would like to celebrate, so watch for next month's newsletter for an invitation to join us, in some format, to celebrate 30 years in Paradise.

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 W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Housing Sales Focus on Longer Term Trend 
January and February are indicating a much more solid sales year for 2013 over 2012.  There is certainly more activity in the market - our own business as well as in the office and other offices.  I believe 2013 will result in increased sales over 2012 and a stabilizing of prices.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data for February released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) for the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area confirms that increase in acivity - an increase of 23% of single family home sales over last February, 37 sales versus 30.  In Parksville proper the increase was 112%.

The average sale price of a single family home sold in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region in February was $342,625, down from February 2012 average sale price of $378,688 (-10%).

In the VIREB region sales activity remains fairly low due to hesitancy on the part of buyers and sellers however the balance of the region is expecting increased volume as well.  “We expect to see an increase in sales activity in the coming months, a trend likely to continue throughout the year.  A home purchase has always been a long term investment so you shouldn’t be basing your buying or selling decision strictly on a short term strategy,” explained VIREB President Gary Gray.

Cameron Muir, Chief Economist with the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) concurs and describes 2013 as a transition year.  “This ‘wait and see’ standoff is not expected to last much longer as those potential buyers waiting for a significant drop in home prices realize that the market is stable.”

As of the end of February 2013 there were 310 single family homes available on the Multiple Listing Service® in the regio, down from 380 in February 2012.

In terms of unit sales year to year there continued to be a wide disparity between the different zones last month.  The Parksville/Qualicum region recorded a 23 percent increase in unit sales while Nanaimo unit sales were off a full 33 percent compared to February 2012.  Campbell River recorded a nine percent increase in unit sales on a year to year basis, Comox Valley sales were down 14 percent, Cowichan Valley sales declined nine percent while Port Alberni/West Coast’s sales activity was down 25 percent from a year ago.

For detailed statistical report for February & last 12 months visit our web site at:

Going Green At Work 
We spend so much time at work so it's important to incorporate the same green practices at the office that we use at home.  Here are a few ways you can enjoy a greener workspace:

  1. Out to Lunch - Pack your lunch and snacks in reusable containers and eliminate the need for plastic coffee cups by using a mug from home.

  2. Save Your Energy - Set your computer to energy saving mode and make sure you shut it down completely when you leave for the day.

  3. Reduce/Reuse/Recycle - Cut down on paper by re-using the backs of printed paper and recycle printer cartridges as it's cheaper and eco-friendly.

  4. Go Digital - Organize and store your files on your computer instead of in the filing cabinet and share documents through cloud services such as Dropbox.

  5. Hitch a Ride - Arrange a carpooling program as not only will you save money and the environment but it's also a great way to get to know your co-workers.

When it comes to the environment, every little bit helps.  You may need to start some of these initiatives yourself but it will be worth it.  If you want to help the environment while improving your quality of life, why not investigate working from home?  Today's technology makes it easy to do and a very viable option!

Tips on Cutting Your Smartphone Bill 
Smartphone bills can really throw you for a loop, especially if you exceed your monthly data allowance!  Here are a few data diet tips that will help slim down your bill:

  • set up a data limit monitor on your phone

  • use Wi-Fi when streaming music and watching videos

  • program your phone to notify you when you're roaming

  • avoid apps that push content such as news updates

With today's technology, it's easy to get carried away watching movies or playing 3D games that chew up data and leave you with a cell phone bill that's hard to swallow.  The tips above should help you avoid any unpleasant surprises.

PS Oh by the way, I am never too busy for any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from my help please contact me with their name and number and let them know that I will be in touch.  I would be priveleged 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:  250-248-1071 /

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