Home prices in Parksville Qualicum Beach area skyrocketed in the past year. — Lauren Collins photo

Parksville-Qualicum home prices skyrocket

Benchmark price jumps 16 per cent in Parksville Qualicum Beach

The value of a single-family home in Parksville Qualicum Beach is getting a lot more expensive.

The latest Vancouver Island Real Estate Board reports that the local region posted the highest benchmark price for a single-family home last month at $525,600, an increase of 16 per cent over last year. In 2016, the a single-family home here cost about $452,700 and two years ago it was $356,800.

Overall, throughout the VIREB area in November, which includes Campbell River, Comox Valley, Parksville-Qualicum, Duncan, Port Alberni and the outlying islands, the benchmark price was $463,200, up 17 per cent from last year. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in a reported area.)

The benchmark price of an apartment regionwide last November rose to $274,100, up 26 per cent in the VIREB area from the previous year, while the benchmark price of a townhouse was $359,200, a 21 per cent increase from November 2016.

The cheapest place to buy a home in the central Vancouver Island region is still Port Alberni, where a single-family home currently costs an average of $252,700, which is still up by 18 per cent from 2017.

In the Campbell River area, a single-family home cost $366,300, representing an increase of 18 per cent over November 2016. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price hit $467,200, up 21 per cent; Duncan reported a benchmark price of $410,700, an increase of 15 per cent; and Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 14 per cent to $497,200.

Even as the prices of houses go up, VIREB reports that sales last month dipped by seven per cent from October, though they were still up 23 per cent from November 2016.

Last month, 426 properties sold on the Multiple Listing Service system, compared to 346 a year ago and 458 in October. Inventory of single-family homes decreased by 13 per cent month over month and four per cent from one year ago. Although the supply of single-family homes for sale has been steadily rising each month since VIREB hit a historic low of 859 in December 2016, inventory dipped in October and once again in November.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) notes that the housing market in B.C. is thriving due to strong economic fundamentals, such as robust retail sales, job growth, and population growth. British Columbia’s economy continues to lead the country, with GDP in 2018 expected to hit 3.8 per cent. Government policy decisions, including slightly higher interest rates and the new mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20), could affect the housing market in 2018, but it is too early to say in what way.

— NEWS staff/VIREB report

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