Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven February 2014   

Hi Paul,

Whether you’re thinking of selling or simply updating your home, it’s important to keep an eye on the latest trends.  This month's article highlights five hot home trends for 2014!

There are also some great tips if you’re looking to step outside of your comfort zone, as well as a website that helps you make decisions by offering side-by-side comparisons of popular products.

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!

Your friends in Real Estate
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Market Showing Signs of Vitaity in the New Year 
Sales activity across the Vancouver Island housing market area is in full swing this January, with reports of healthy inventory levels and unit sales across the Board.

A total of 212 single-family homes sold in the VIREB coverage area on the MLS® system in January 2014.  This represents a 15 per cent increase over the 184 sales recorded in January 2013, and almost no change from last month, which reported 210 unit sales.

VIREB president, Blair Herbert, is encouraged by the healthy sales activity occurring across the market coverage area.  “The market began to show signs of vitality in the latter half of 2013, and this momentum has continued to build as we move forward into January.  The numbers definitely bode well for our spring market,” he stated.

In January 2014, the benchmark price for a single-family home in the VIREB coverage area was $307,700, with an MLS® HPI index value of 144.6.  This represents a 44.6 per cent increase since January 2005, when the index was 100.

The benchmark price is down 0.1 per cent from last month and increased 0.8 per cent from last year.  The average price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $318,628, which is the same as it was this time last year.

According to BCREA economist, Brendon Ogmundson, VIREB is right on-target to meet its forecasted growth for the year.  “Currently, VIREB is on-track to meet its 1.5 per cent projected sales growth for 2014.  Pricing continues to remain relatively flat; however, we do anticipate a slight increase later this spring.”

The benchmark price for a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $259,700, up 5.7 per cent over last year; in the Comox Valley the benchmark price was $319,000, an increase of 2.4 per cent over last year; Duncan reports a benchmark price of $272,700, dipping 5.8 per cent from last year; Nanaimo’s benchmark price was $324,200, up 0.8 per cent from last year; Parksville/Qualicum has a benchmark price of $346,000, up 3.4 per cent last year; and Port Alberni is listed at $186,000 for a benchmark home, increasing 5.3 per cent from last year.

Hot Home Trends for 2014 
There are plenty of new and exciting home trends this year!

Although your home reflects your personal style, trends help trigger your creativity and provide the opportunity to shake things up a little.  Here are a few hot home trends for 2014:

  1. Shower Spa - Homeowners are seeking a serene, spa like shower environment with a curbless design for a spacious open shower experience.

  2. Open It Up - Open plan kitchens are expanding even further with glass front cabinets and open shelving units to give the feeling of even more space.

  3. Smart Sensors - Smart thermostats are the latest environmentally friendly gadget to hit the market.  They save energy by automatically adjusting the temperature based on your daily routine.

  4. Back to Nature - Homeowners are adding value and comfort by blending their indoor and outdoor living space.  All-weather furniture and outdoor fireplaces are top picks in this department!

  5. U-Sockets - The smallest upgrade can make the biggest difference!  U-sockets are wall plugs with two built-in USB ports that can be used to power devices such as tablets and smartphones.

It’s always good to keep your finger on the pulse of emerging trends but ultimately your personal style will dictate your choices.  Hopefully these trends have inspired you whether you’re looking to stage and sell your home or just want to add a little pizazz to your space!

How to Jump Outside of Your Comfort Zone 
If we never leave our comfort zone, we’ll never realize our full potential.

If you want to make 2014 your best year ever, you’ll need to dive (or at least step) outside of your comfort zone.  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Risk + Reward - Take a risk every day so you don't lose your edge.  Risks challenge your brain and allow you to move forward in ways you didn't know were possible!

  2. Just Do It - Tackle a "to-do" you've been putting off by taking small, steady steps.  Your new found confidence and motivation will make it seem much easier than ever before.

  3. New You - Take up a hobby that excites yet scares you such as rock climbing or scuba diving.  Instead of gaining weight you’ll shred pounds and gain confidence.

When you step outside of your comfort zone, exciting changes will start to happen.  If you replace negative, fearful thoughts with positive ones, you'll continue to naturally expand your comfort zone which will in turn fuel your personal growth!

Your Online Personal Shopper 
The Internet's a great place to review products but it can also be very overwhelming.

If you’re trying to decide between a few different products, help is at hand!  Versus is a site that provides online shoppers with a side-by-side comparison of various products and services!

For example, if you have a few tablets in mind, just type them into versus.com for a detailed, side-by-side comparison of their various pros and cons.  It can also be used to compare cities and universities if you’re looking to relocate.

Product reviews can be very helpful but nothing beats a side-by-side comparison.  The next time you’re not sure which product or service will suit you best, just head over to www.versus.com for some unbiased advice!



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

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.