experts: real estate column Wednesday, March 22, 2000

SPOTLIGHT ON VANCOUVER ISLAND

Overall the Island had a slow start with volume about where it was a year ago or down slightly and prices sagging.

By Ozzie Jurock

Overall the Island had a slow start with volume about where it was a year ago or down slightly and prices sagging. In fact, only Victoria clocked in at higher prices with all other markets showing price declines between 1% and 4% both for February and 12 months averaged. (The Vancouver Island Board reports a ‘running’ 12 months total; i.e. Feb 98 to Feb 99 versus Feb 99 to Feb 2000). On the bright side Active Listings are down everywhere (except in Comox) which generally shows a solidifying of the market. Says Randy Forbes, General manager of Coast Realty: "The spring market appears to be showing up a little later this year, but overall things seem to be similar to the last few years." He also reports a "huge surge in commercial construction" for Nanaimo. Indeed. The Island is slow out of the gate for the New Millennium. The numbers tell the story. For the Board trading area (Includes Port Alberni and Galiano Island):

TOTAL FOR BOARD FEB/00   FEB/99     % (12 MOS TO DATE) FEB/99FEB2000  RYFEB/99FEB98     %
Units sold         299      306  -01%                          4,420          3,926  +12%
Average price  139,230  146,800  -05%                        148,223        151,300  -01%
Active Listings  4,393    4,545  -05%
Major point: Prices are very soft, there still is time to get that fine deal. We still hear reports of out-of-town investors in Campbell River, Duncan and Comox accepting huge discounts on properties. Some waterfront properties also are excellent buys. We expect the market to improve in March and April
CAMPBELL RIVER  FEB/00   FEB/99     % (12 MOS TO DATE) FEB/99FEB2000  RYFEB/99FEB98     %
Units sold          31       32   00%                            427            376  +12%
Average price  137,500  140,100  -02%                        144,223        150,900  -04%
Active Listings    443      477  -07%  

COMOX VALLEY    FEB/00   FEB/99     % (12 MOS TO DATE) FEB/99FEB2000  RYFEB/99FEB98     %
Units sold          45       46   00%                            723            561  +22%
Average price  141,400  144,700  -02%                        147,700        150,900  -02%
Active Listings    727      696  +04%

DUNCAN          FEB/00   FEB/99     % (12 MOS TO DATE) FEB/99FEB2000  RYFEB/99FEB98     %
Units sold          47       53  -11%                            762            719  +06%
Average price  142,500  148,700  -04%                        155,900        157,400   00%
Active Listings    759      886  -14%

PARKSVILLE      FEB/00   FEB/99     % (12 MOS TO DATE) FEB/99FEB2000  RYFEB/99FEB98     %
Units sold          47       49   00%                            701            615  +12%
Average price  157,100  163,400  -03%                        167,800        171,800  -02%
Active Listings    790      803  -02%    
        
NANAIMO         FEB/00   FEB/99     % (12 MOS TO DATE) FEB/99FEB2000  RYFEB/99FEB98     %
Units sold          90       94  -04%                           1331           1314  +01%
Average price  151,000  152,000   00%                        150,300        149,500   00%
Active Listings   1052     1081  -03%            

VICTORIA        FEB/00   FEB/99     %                   Y-T-D FEB/00       Y-T-D/99     %
Units sold         389      358  +08%                            672            658  +02%
Average price  244,500  240,100  +02%                        244,100        233,500  +04%
Active Listings  3,450    3,667  -06%




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